Terrified, worried and obedient. These are the three words I would use to describe my first day of work. Almost exactly nine months ago I walked into my first day at my first post-grad job and somehow, hours later, I walked out alive.
When I graduated in May of 2011 I had no desire what so ever to get a job in the field in which I had just earned my degree. I had completed four years of college and the entire time I was there I was itching to take a trip somewhere to do service work. When I graduated and was officially obligation free I knew I had a unique period of time to do something different. I wanted to go somewhere and do something amazing, gain perspective on life, see a world I never knew existed, one so different from my own. Little did I know I’d find that place at the heart of the town I’ve always called home. Unemployed and directionless I turned to the outreach program at my church. They had pages upon pages of tutoring positions available at a local children’s ministry. I clicked past these pages quicker than you can say kelly’s not a kid person. However, Clint, also unemployed at the time, took a second look at these opportunities and investigated further. I guess this is fitting for someone who would soon land a job as a special investigator. While Clint was looking for service opportunities there, I was revisiting the Peace Corps website ever other day and attempting to tell myself it could be just what I was looking for. Long story made a bit short- When Clint went to the ministry to start tutoring they mentioned that they had a teaching position open that they needed to fill. Apparently he saw something in me I had yet to see in myself, and told them he had just the girl they needed. I hesitantly went in to hear about the position, filled out an application and soon after went for an interview. Days later I received a phone call offering me the position and that I would have a few days to consider. This is where I stand there in my driveway with a quizzical look on my face and think, what am I doing?! I am far from being qualified to be a teacher. I always thought the closest thing I’d ever get to being a teacher was having college roommates who were education majors. One thing I can now certainly attest to be true, and the mentality that led me to take a job in which I had no background or experience is that
God doesn’t always call the qualified
But he will always qualify the called
I have spent the past nine months doing something that in my heart, I felt God call me to do, and in only a way He can do, it has been the most incredible, rewarding, exciting, enriching, and life-changing thing I’ve ever done. It didn’t take a trip around the world or cold-showers in a hut off a dirt road. It took a drive ten minutes down the road and a bold faith that God had something great in store for me. Something far greater than what I could have ever hoped for.
Today I say goodbye to my students but I will be forever grateful to them. They taught me incredible lessons. They opened my eyes to the purity of a child’s faith and reminded me what it’s like to live in today, worry free of tomorrow. I can only hope that I’ve played a positive role in their lives. I hope that they become the teacher, vet, performer, artist, illustrator, soccer player, doctor, carolina panther, lego designer, and author that they dream of being now. But more than that, I hope they continue to dream big, to thank God for the individuals they are blessed to be and to be as kind and open-hearted to the next teacher as they were to me.
They’ll never know it, but I do believe they changed the course of my life. I don’t have a map of what’s to come, but I know where I’ve been and what I can do. And I am more confident now of my ability to accomplish anything I dream of than I have ever been before.
I am sad, I am excited, I am grateful and I am blessed.