You remember when you were a kid, like in elementary school, and people asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? I remember my default answer was a teacher or something like that because that’s really I knew. As I grew older, and I learned more about the world and myself, my desire to work in a school did not completely go away. It has looked different over the years since high school– transforming from teaching graphic design to becoming a school social worker to tutoring after school to being a tutor with her own classroom. Even though the way I participate in the education field changes, my passion to work in the field does not.
I’m not sure what it is about education that I’m passion about. I don’t think I truly understood it until I moved to Los Angeles. My eyes were open to the injustice of the system and ultimately the injustice many people in marginalized communities face. So I did what I thought I did best: work directly with people. Maybe if I change their life, their community is going to change. I have been teaching them how to fish and while that’s great, that’s not all that needs to be done.
Before I even submitted my application for a new job, I was hesitant. Like I said before, I’ve been working in education in some way for six years. It’s basically all I know. I shared this anxiety with my boyfriend.
“Even if I do get offered the job, I don’t think I’d take it.”
“Why not?” he asked
“Because I feel like if I leave, the whole school will fall apart.”
“Well, maybe that’s reason to leave. You’re not called to hold the system together, but to be a part of restoring it.”
I never thought I would be working with a church. I guess if I did, I thought it would be something with missions or with kids. Perhaps I like to be in the thick of it where the fruits of my labor can be immediately recognized. Serving students directly granted me that satisfaction. Sometimes though, it felt as though I was pulling unripe fruit off the branch. And instead of letting go, I continued to tug the fruit even though it was not ready. But then I hear the gentle voice of the Gardener: “I call you not to grow the fruit. I ask you to be patient and tend to My fields. I ask you to wait for My timing. do you trust Me enough to know that I will be the one who ripens the fruit?”
It was (and still is) a strange transition from teaching to administration, from a school to a church. Mostly because I feel like I have abandoned my students (as though I am the only one that can teach them). But the Lord gently affirms me: “Well done, good and faithful servant. I have entrusted you with a little, and now I will entrust you with more.”
And now it’s off to cultivate another area of the garden.