My parents used to say that if we didn’t listen to them, we’d learn the hard way. I watched my older sister, Jill, “learn the hard way” several times and while that didn’t necessarily deter me from making my own mistakes, the saying stuck with me. Call me stubborn but here I am approaching 45 years old and still “learning the hard way.”
As most of you know, I’m on this path to become an author. It’s been several years in the making but I’ve let so many other things in life become the priority. I’ve said “yes” too many times when I actually meant no. Whether it has been putting other people’s priorities above my own or saying yes to too many subbing jobs, it doesn’t matter. I haven’t protected my writing time. Time that has been graciously given to me by God and an extremely patient and supportive husband. And now, God is letting me know that I am going to have to learn my lesson the hard way.
See over the past year, I have applied for seventeen permanent job openings within the school system that I substitute teach in. 17! That’s seventeen time-consuming applications. It’s also seventeen rejections. Seventeen times on the brink of depression for not getting a more stable job that in all reality only pays a few dollars more on the hour than what I currently make as a sub.
So what do we naturally do? We pray about it. However, when I pray about it, I keep hearing God say to me over and over again, “I’m telling you what you need to do, why are fighting my calling?”
This past week, I got another two no’s and I try hard not to let it kick up the dirt of depression but it does, maybe not as strong as it has in the past but it’s still there seeping into my confidence. When I sit quietly and think back on my week, I can clearly see what I am like when I’m home writing and what I’m like when I sub.
When I sub, I am completely depleted. My energy is next to zero. My patience towards my son is low. My interest in making a healthy dinner turns into a frozen pizza or a take-out menu. I want nothing more than to crawl into bed at 3:30 in the afternoon and stay there until the next morning. My whole life, everyone always told me that I have teacher qualities and ask how come I’m not teaching. I’ve always known that it’s not for me. So why do I sub? Well, it’s added income for trips, hockey, lacrosse, and a few other treats. Plus it’s the same schedule as my son who is the top priority.
Now when I write or focus on my new publications company or work on 2 Scripture Sisters, I’m energized. I don’t necessarily follow a 9 to 5 schedule but I can go long periods of time researching, learning, planning, and writing. And I still have the energy for my son and husband when they get home later in the day. It’s my true calling. It excites me for what it can become. I just need to be stronger at saying “no.” I have to become a protector of my writing time like the protector I am to my son. A shift in my mindset has to happen and God is helping me do this.
How is God helping me with this shift? By saying no. He is the one keeping the doors for all those open jobs sealed shut. I mean He’s not even cracking it open just a smidge. He won’t let me even put one toe on to that path because it’s not my path to take. He has made it very clear which path he wants me on. If you don’t know what I talking about, please read my previous blog post.
So what am I doing now besides learning the hard way? I have one more sub assignment before school lets out and I have no intentions on applying for any more jobs. Whether or not I’ll be subbing next year is up in the air. But I do know that writing, developing my publications company, and working to build up 2 Scripture Sisters will be my focus this summer along with my son, the pool, and hockey camps.
Know that God has overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
Job 19: 6