Thursday, December 29, 2005

I Am Fearing Again...

Today I pulled out my application for the education program that I am going to be applying for for next fall. I wanted to ask my supervisor at work for a reference. However, I read over the FAQ they attach to the application and read about the kind of references they want.

The first reference is from someone regarding work with kids that I have had. I already asked the lady in charge of my church's mid week kids program if she would give me a reference regarding this, and she said she would. The next reference is with an academic reference. I've emailed one of the profs I've had quite a bit, as I am sure he will give me a good reference. The thing is, he is on sabatacle this year. I am hoping that he reads his school email frequently and still uses it even though he's not there this year. Someone told me that he is supposed to be going away this semester so that scares me...that he either won't get the email or that I won't be able to get a reference from him. I have another prof on back-up that I will ask if this one can't (this second prof has actually recommended me as a tutor for the Religious Studies courses, for the students at school who need it, so maybe he'd be able to give me a good one as well).

The third one is giving me problems. I have decided that a reference from my supervisor won't do because they one one that will tie things together and be a well rounded one that will give support to being a teacher and being in the education program...or something like that. I have absolutely no clue who to ask for this, or what it really means. So, tonight I have emailed the registrar in charge of the education program to find out if she can lead me in the right direction. I don't know if it would be acceptable to have the teacher I help at Sunday school (the beginner's class - kindergarten to grade 2) as the third reference or what (I asked that in the email). Hopefully I'll hear back soon as to what they are looking for.

I have been feeling...I don't know...down I guess, or maybe afraid today because of this whole Education program thing. Let me explain a little so that it might help you understand what or why I am in this spot.

When I felt the time came that I needed a change in my life, work was really getting to me. I had been in a somewhat dead end job for nearly 12 years. I was about as far up the ladder as I could go there, which wasn't the problem. The problem was that it was data entry, and I was sick and tired of that kind of work. I was only trained in office work and I no longer had any interest in this sort of thing at all. It made me feel sick to think that was the kind of work I would have to do for the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is anything wrong with office work or anything...I was just sick and tired of it. I needed a change. I was also getting carpal tunnel, and not long before applying for school, I actually did get it in my left wrist and it was progressing in my right one.

So, I prayed a lot about going back to school...because that is what I would need to do. I had no idea what I wanted to do, or what I should do. It was then that people who didn't know I was even thinking about going back to school started asking me if I had ever thought about being a teacher because I was good with the kids. They told me they could see a twinkle in my eye when I was around them and that I seemed to work well with them. They told me that I would make a good teacher.

I started praying and felt that my direction was being strengthened to go back to school. I talked to the admissions people and found out that I would need to get my BA (Bachelor of Arts) before I could get my BEd (Bachelor of Education). So, I began to pray about what I should take for my BA and felt the Lord direct me to Biblical Studies. Now, before I go on, I've had people tell me that of course God would want me to take that since it's about the Bible and about Him. However, I firmly believe that if God wanted me to take Psychology or something else He would have led me to that. I believe that God has me in the Biblical Studies program for a reason, and not just to learn about Him.

I had also prayed a lot about becoming a teacher (prior to praying about the BA thing) and felt led to this. I felt that the comments people had made were a confirmation that this was the right direction for me. I had all the faith in the world that the Lord wanted me to go back to school and become a teacher.

So, that isn't the problem. The problem for me is that somewhere along the way I started doubting and second-guessing myself. I wonder to myself sometimes if I am doing what God really wants me to do, or if it was just me wanting to do this. I start thinking what if I apply for the education and I don't get in...does that mean I wasn't following God's will for my life but following my own desires? I know that satan could be filling me with doubt, causing me to fell this way.

I am afraid that I won't get into the Education program after all this work, after believing that this was the path God wanted me on. I am afraid that somewhere along the way I stopped having faith and stopped believing that I am doing God's will in this. This doesn't consume me every minute of the day mind you...but today I have really been mulling it over in my mind.

I have been praying that the Lord will let me know who I should ask for the third reference. I have been praying that my marks will be good enough, that He will give me the words to say on the essay part of the application, that I will be granted an interview and get accepted into the program. I know there are areas I need to learn and improve upon in my teaching skills, but isn't that what the education program is about?

I am afraid that if I don't get in, it will be because I started doubting, and stopped trusting. I know that if this is God's will/plan for my life I will get accepted. But what if I don't? Then what? A Bachelor of Arts doesn't really give you anything. I don't want to feel that I have wasted 4 years of my life (especially since I'm getting close to 40) and created a big debt from student loans for nothing.

I am trying to trust God in this. I am trying to believe that He will get me into the program, that He didn't bring me to get this education for nothing. I knew going into this that it would be a long haul (6 years in total), and I don't think He would bring through this far to drop me on my butt and laugh at me for believing that I could be a teacher.

I'm just rambling now I think...more to get this off my chest and just ask for prayer and guidance and wisdom in all of this. Also I need prayers that I will trust and believe that God will bring me through this. I feel weak (not physically, but spiritually and emotionally), but I guess that is good because it is in my weakness that God is made strong...that His strength can get me through this. I just have a huge fear about this. I don't want to fail at this. I don't want to not get into the program. I don't want to fear...I want to trust and believe but I am having a hard time with it in this situation for some reason.

Anyway, I would appreciate some prayer for this. I don't want to worry and fret about it. I want to know that this is what God wants for me and to stop fearing. But it keeps niggling at my mind today and it wont stop.

15 comments:

TADJuls said...

Hi Shelley! This is Julie (the triplets Mom - "a day in the life of TAD") I just dropped by. Wanted to let you know I would pray for you, and the decisions that lie ahead of you. Hang in there! God is GOOD.
Julie

What's my Mission said...

You are in my prayers, girl... remember... God is bigger than your doubts... Just be obediant to Him and trust that His will will come to pass. Do what you have to do on your side of things and do them well, then trust God to do the rest. Loves ya!

Jezreel said...

Amen to "What's my mission".... Praying for you Shelley!

Maggie Ann said...

Hello Shelley, I enjoyed reading your comment about how your Mum decorates the organ and all. Things like that stay in the memory of the heart for a long time in a good way, don't they. You know, I was wondering what goal your studies were leading you to just the other day but decided it would be nosey to ask. So you are going to be a teacher...thats a wonderful calling. I think too that it is a very special ministry, teachers are more than teachers to the children...I just read a story about a teacher who would put her arm around the shoulder of a certain little student who was off to a slow start with her reading and prone to be laughed at by the other kids...BUT..with the teacher's arm around her, no one bothered making fun. The story went on to say, the teacher Knew that this little one would read more skillfully at her own pace...and believed in the child and supported her. It touched my heart. Growing up years are fragile...even adulthood has its fragile moments. Teachers play an important part in life. I know the devil is in the discouragement you are experiencing. You've got alot going on all the time and looking ahead sort of translates=worry anyway. Adding you to my prayers tonight...we know God cares and will provide and that He makes no mistakes. *hugs*

Saija said...

amen to maggie ann's comments ... you may just be physically tired too ... now that you've shared, i hope you get some rest and trust that God IS leading you ... 'cause we are all trusting in the same way ... (hugs)

Pia said...

shelley, thank you so much for your prayers. it means a lot to us. you are always in my prayers too. may God hold you and keep you always.

God bless!

Kate said...

Hi Shelley,

You are such a wonderful person, and a great friend who is going to be an awesome teacher, mentor and support for those kids you are going to influence. I'm praying for you. I know God has great plans for you.

Darlene said...

ok I'll pray for guidance. It's a lot to think about and alot to decide. I hope you get peace and confidence soon.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'll pray for you that God answers your questions and doubts. But let me share something that I've learned along the way.

Stop doubting yourself! the occupation that you are choosing to follow at this time is an honorable occupation!

There is God's perfect will and God's permissive will. Many times we don't catch what is God's perfect will for us. I am 55 and I still sometimes miss the point until I see it in hindsight. So rest assured, you'll never get 'perfect' at figuring it out!

But on the other hand, God does wish for us to have happy and fulfilled lives. As long as what you are choosing is honorable and uplifting, God will honor that(that's God's permissive will).

God can do wonders with anything we choose to do! See, He knows the beginning from the end. Your choice of occupations did not make Him smack Himself in the forehead saying,"Oh, no, I didn't know she was going to do that!"

Do everything that your supposed to do to accomplish this goal, all the while praying. Notice I didn't say pray 'after' you had done everything else. God will honor your hard work and lead you in the right direction.

Jayleigh said...

"I wonder to myself sometimes if I am doing what God really wants me to do, or if it was just me wanting to do this."

And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God and are called according to His purpose.

That comes from somewhere in Romans. I think 8:28, but I'm not sure.

My point is that which ever road you take, the destination will still be in God's plan.

Praying for you, girl. **hugs** and thanks for the encouraging comments on my blog today.

Also, I kind of thought you were way younger than me, so when you said "nearing 40," I about choked. :-) You seem youthful, anyway!

Happy New Year!

Pilot Mom said...

Shelley, worriers dwell in the "what ifs" of life. All worry does is shift the burden from God's strong shoulders to our weak shoulders. Worry really is unbelief in disguise. It boils down to the fact that we're not trusting God.

So, move forward until the good Lord stops you completely. Who knows, maybe the Lord wanted you to get your BA to be used for something else by Him and He knew you wouldn't have pursued it this far if you didn't think you were to get your BEd. Who knows the mind of God? But, we do know this, and that is, He knows right where He is taking you and it is the VERY BEST thing for you...don't give Satan the victory! {{{hugs}}}

I'll be praying....

Dave said...

Shelley, nothing to add to all the encouraging stuff except to say I am praying.
Look to Him and be blessed.

Zoanna said...

Dear Shelley, I want you to go back and count how many times you wrote 'fear" or "afraid" in this post. And who or what did you fear? If not the Lord, then you are, as someone above said, gullty of the sin of unbelief. I have been many times! Certainly does seem to me you have a heart for children (as you faithfully read my Kidbits blog and seem to genuinely get a kick out of things little ones say and do). Teaching is a calling of mine. I love it, and when I'm away from the classroom (as I am this year) I miss the students.

Practically speaking, your three recommendations should probably come from people who know you in different contexts: one from church, one from school, one from a volunteer organization. This would show an admissions person that you are the same kind of person everywhere (not just in church). As for the prof on sabbitical, try him, but don't wait before asking your back-up person. Those letters of recommendation don't usually get written till the last minute. Don't put yourself in a time crunch! Remember that God made the Israelites put their feet into the water before delivering them from their enemies. Don't wait till the obstacles are out of the way. Trust God by moving forward. He is the Redeemer: even if you make a mistake, He will redeem it. Well, sorry to have gone on this long. Be encouraged, my sister in Christ!
Satan will throw darts of doubt at you because you are choosing a field of tremendous influence on the very minds and hearts that he wants. Don't give in to fear and doubt! Take up the shield of faith,speak truth to yourself, and march ahead. God has already prepared your path, just take the next step.

Dorothy said...

Prayers abound for you! Hang in there... I didn't go back to college until I was nearly 30... and just went to grad school last year! Persistence wins the race, girlfriend!

--Dot.

Andrea said...

Shelley,

Wow.. I can really relate. I did data entry for 5 years, starting as a work study and before I quit I was a Research Assistant with much more project responbsibility, input on projects, job travel and the like... I quit and started my masters in Social Work - a different, yet similar field... I'm working as a high school social worker (intern) right now for my field placement and I am blessed every day by the kids I work with! It has truly helped me to move through the stagnation and depression I felt in the old rut... doing work I feel is important to me and makes a difference in people's lives. I wish you the best as you further your education and pray for all the amazing contributions I'm you will make!