I started a new job last week. Well, it's the old job, but new responsibilities. Instead of being a 3rd grade teacher, I am now the writing and technology teacher for my PreK-6 campus.
I am really excited about my year! We have a new principal, who is also a great friend and a strong believer. Our campus and the decisions made there are covered in prayer. Our main building is under renovation and will be a beautiful new building very soon. We have a lot of new people and new exciting things going on. It's all really, really great and exciting.
But, can I be honest? It's also really, really hard.
The new position I am in has never been done at my school before. There are no, "Well, this is how Susie did it when it was her job" things for me to rely on. There's no specific job description laid out yet. I don't exactly know my role. I'm not a grade level teacher anymore, but I'm not office/admin either. I don't have a schedule yet. I don't have a classroom yet. (It's the temporary office while our main building is being constructed.) I am not really sure what my duties are yet. I feel very much in the "middle..." Not here...not there...just somewhere in between. I know I'll get there eventually. In the meantime...
It. Is. Hard.
Last week, I had a really tough first day. I felt very, very lost in the chaos of change. I felt like I didn't really fit in with any group. I felt overwhelmed and under-prepared. There were tons of things on my to-do list that I didn't really know how to do. My email was going off. My phone was blowing up. I needed to just catch my breath, but I couldn't. I didn't want it to show because I know that I was picked for this position for a purpose. I could not show that I was failing on the first day!
Then the doubt set in. Was this position really something God called me to do? Am I cut out for it? Aren't there better people for this? More qualified people? Then came the insecurity. I'm not ready for this responsibility. Nobody will like me or respect me. I'll be all by myself. I'll surely manage to screw this up.
By Monday night I was a total mess. I was grouchy. I was stressed. I am also pretty sure it was a horrible hair day. I had picked back up every single sin and insecurity I laid down weeks ago at Pursued. My phone was glued to my hand. My attention was glued to it or my laptop. I was comparing and throwing stones like that was my job! I wanted so badly to just let it go, but I felt such pressure to be good at this new job and to not let my boss/friend down.
That was after ONE DAY!
Then, thankfully, the sweet Holy Spirit stepped in and reminded me that this is NOT how a free person lives. I went in and confessed to Justin all of the crap I was feeling and thinking (saying it out loud proves it has no power over me!), put my phone on Do Not Disturb and enjoyed my family.
The next morning when I got up to spend time with God, Colossians 3 happened to be the next passage I was supposed to read. It was such a sweet love note for me.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
My work is for Him and no one else. He alone is the one I need to please. The one I need to serve. He has set me here for his purposes and his plans. No one else's opinions or plans can separate me from that. I am his! If I am serving and working in the name of Jesus--for his glory and his kingdom---then I cannot fail. His plans will be accomplished. It's not about me or my feelings! Feelings steer us so far in the other direction most of the time. It's time to stop "feeling" and start serving.
For the rest of the week He provided so many sweet friends in my path. I was able to have lunch with a sweet Pursued sister. I got to sit and have coffee with my best friend while talking about Jesus. It was so, so needed! One of my co-workers who is also in a new position confessed that she felt the very same way. It helped to know I wasn't alone. GOD PROVIDED. He encouraged me through his Word and through his people. He knew exactly what I needed. The only difference was instead of burying myself deeper and deeper into work and stress this time, I listened and responded to the Holy Spirit when He told me it was enough. I confessed. I changed my ways. I was free again.
Since then I've created a new tool.
I taped these verses to my laptop. Now I have a visual tool to remind me just who I am working for.
I'm not saying every day will be a picnic or that I won't feel stressed out from time to time, but difference is that I will not allow it to control my heart, mind, and life anymore. My value and my worth are not found in my job. They are found in the grace of Christ and that is IT. That's an identity I can't mess up!