I had no idea that the day ahead of me would change the course of my life forever. It was my second year teaching 6th grade at a little elementary school where I taught pre-teens everything from the New Testament gospel of Matthew to geometry. As an undergrad, one thing I knew that I would become was a teacher. But I had absolutely no intention to teach math-or anything other than English literature.
And yet, God has a way of opening up doors for us that we would normally breeze on by. So two years into being an elementary school teacher, my long dreamed for position as a high school English teacher faded into a memory.
I had found my calling. Miss Mills was a 6th grade teacher and she loved it.
It was nearing the end of the school year and contracts were coming out. There was no question in my mind that I would sign up for another year where I spent all my days with rowdy, adorable, hormonal adolescents.
But then the call came during one of my breaks. The high school where I had been a student called to ask me to apply for a high school English position-the teacher who inspired me to teach was leaving, and they wanted to know if I was interested in filling her shoes.
What was God DOING? I loved teaching 6th grade. I was happy! Why was I now being forced to consider something new…and scary? Was I even cut out anymore to teach high schoolers? Was that still my dream?
Have you come to a crossroads and been torn over making the “right” decision? How are we to know what the best choice is-what God’s will is, for us?
Thankfully, we don’t need to be left in the dark. John 7:16-17 says:
Jesus therefore answered them, and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If any man is wiling to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.”
If we are willing to do His will, we will have spiritual discernment.
And I was. I wanted God’s will, despite my contentment right where I was in room K in the corner of the play yard where 28 twelve-year olds fed my heart and gave me purpose.
Though I had buried the hope to be an English teacher, God had plans to prepare me first, and then to surpass my dreams by giving me the blessing to work in the classroom where I had once been inspired to teach in the first place.
The key for me is that I was continually in relationship with the Lord. He knew that my heart’s desire above all else was to do His will and when we desire to follow Him, He gives us increasing spiritual discernment.
What about you?
Are you exasperated over the choices of whether or not to send your child to a particular school? Is there a relationship that you simply have no idea how to handle anymore? Do you have a big decision that will affect the lives of your family, and you just aren’t sure how to proceed?
The good news is that you don’t need to have all the answers figured out in detail. You just need to spend time with God, sincerely seeking Him with an open heart and mind, and then stepping out in faith as God leads you and gives you spiritual discernment.
Sure enough, in the midst of vying emotions about teaching high school and leaving my beloved 6th graders, God opened the door with a solid offer that I felt compelled to take. After nine years of teaching, I could look back and see what a gift it was that God disrupted my comfort zone by changing schools and subject areas. Though the shift brought a bundle of nerves with it, there is no doubt that it was God’s good plan for me and that our relationship was what gave me the confidence to step forward into the unknown.
You many not have someone to ask for advice, and much of your decision may be clouded in mystery, but that doesn’t put you at a disadvantage. God knows the way you need to handle your child, the right house to buy, and how to handle that friend who seems to be pulling away from you. He knows the job you should take and who your future spouse is. Keep your eyes on Him and trust that the promptings of your heart are founded in the discernment of the Holy Spirit.
The uncertainty you feel today is cradled by the certainty of an all-knowing God. Seek Him first, and everything else will be just as it should be.
YOUR TURN! What do you need spiritual discernment for today?
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