Finding HIS Career Path
Finding the right career path is something many of us wrestle with. Our friend V. Chang shares a beautifully story of how she discovered God’s calling for her. “The Bible tells us that we are all gifted in different ways to do His divine work (read I Corinthians 12), so without consulting Him, how will we ever find our path? I hope my story both encourages and edifies you to take a step of faith – even blindly – onto the path He has prepared for you.”
Choosing a career path is arguably one of the most crucial decisions a person must make in his or her young life. Often, I meet people from all walks of life who ask me how I got into teaching. My answer always begins with, “By the grace of God…by the grace of God!” Truly, His career path for me has been blessed with several trials of my faith and trust in Him.
To begin, I should share that throughout my childhood, people always saw within me the leadership, organization, and persistence it takes to become a tenacious teacher. In short, they told me, “You are really bossy, you should become a teacher.” But, being stubborn and descended from a long line of preachers & teachers, I resisted on the premise that I wanted to be my own person – an individual. So, during my high school and into my university/college days, I took courses in the Humanities and in Environmental Studies without any consideration for Teacher’s College preparations. At the end of my four years of undergraduate studies, I felt unprepared for the next step on a career path. I knew what I didn’t want to do, namely anything that I had studied. But, what was I supposed to do? Why did I have to take the next step feeling so blind?
So, I began to pray. Of course, my prayers were all selfish. I asked God to give me good contacts, good opportunities, and most of all a good salary grid. But, He responded by putting the idea of teaching back into my life. It was after a discussion with my academic counselor, who pointed out that the courses I had taken in undergrad and my grade point average were enough to qualify me for teacher’s college that I realized I was being groomed this entire time for teaching. But, as Moses stubbornly did before the voice of God in the Burning Bush (read Exodus 3), I made excuses and again resisted.
Nonetheless, the Lord prevailed and I applied to teacher’s college on a lark. I challenged His will by only applying to one college, through one stream of the program (there are actually two streams) just to see if He could get me in. In my year, there were approximately 2000 applicants but only 40 spots. Most people apply to multiple programs at dozens of schools to better their chances of receiving an acceptance. But, I wasn’t seriously considering teaching, so I told God that if He really wanted me there, He would have to work His magic. Cheeky, I know ;-p
Well, wouldn’t you know? After what had to be one of the most embarrassing and nerve-wracking interviews of my life, God saw fit to grant me 1 of those 40 spots. So, I had no choice but to go. Again, God’s grace saw me through tough times, from my crazy course load to my research paper to my practice teaching and beyond. He even granted me a research assistant’s job to help me pay the bills so that I could graduate from six years of school DEBT FREE!
Now, this would seem like a fairy tale ending, but the Lord abundantly blesses those who love and obey Him. Even after graduation, I remained skeptical as to whether teaching was truly my calling, so when it came time to find a full-time contract position, I did the only thing I could do – got down on my knees! Having grown only incrementally as a Christian over these years, I still gave God a wish list of all that I desired, forgetting to give Him glory, honor & praise. I asked for a grade 1 classroom in a small, but affluent community school with a cohesive staff. And, that is exactly what I got! The amazing thing about this position was that it was never posted and I never even applied. God literally worked miracles and my first teaching position fell out of the sky into my lap.
Basically, through my contact with the Principal of a school where I did my practice teaching, I was recommended for my first position. This Principal ‘A’ did not a have job for me but did have a friend, Principal ‘B’, who needed a grade 1 teacher. They emailed back & forth and Principal ‘A’ told Principal ‘B’ about me, so out of the blue, Principal ‘B’ called me to schedule an interview. Within 24 hours of that phone call, I had an interview. Then, within 1 hour of my interview, I was offered the job. Upon reflection, it all happened so fluidly that I cannot take any credit but must give all praise to God. He made it all happen, and I was just along for the wild ride.
Seven years have passed since that happy day. And, I am still teaching. I still LOVE teaching! Finding His career path for me has been a humbling and awesome experience. Now I see, God’s love and wisdom will always prevail, despite my arrogance or prideful ignorance of reality. He showed me that it wasn’t about how many contacts I made or how many great opportunities came my way, but choosing a career is about listening to God’s calling for you. The Bible tells us that we are all gifted in different ways to do His divine work (read I Corinthians 12), so without consulting Him, how will we ever find our path? I hope my story both encourages and edifies you to take a step of faith – even blindly – onto the path He has prepared for you. By the way, I must say that my salary ain’t too shabby and I have two months off in the Summer. God is good, no?