God’s Grace at the End of My Rope

Praise God! I have rejoined the ranks of the gainfully employed—one year and one day after we were summoned here by our son’s death; one year and just shy of one week from when I last had a “real” job.

On Thursday, September 26, I was officially hired and trained as an Educational Support Substitute for a local school district. This means I am available to fill in at area schools in classrooms, lunchrooms, playgrounds, libraries and offices whenever there is someone absent from their regular job.

The incredible thing is that I had just about reached the end of my rope a couple weeks before getting the call about this job. For months I had been searching for employment and had gone to a few interviews, but hadn’t been able to land any jobs. I briefly tutored a little girl this spring. I was hired by friends to do occasional odd jobs. But, for the most part, I just seemed to be spinning my wheels and getting nowhere fast!

One sleepless night, I told God I had had it. I felt like He had let me down, abandoning me and my husband. I asked why He hated me so much to strip me naked and leave me in misery for so long. Like the prophet Jeremiah, I cried, “O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived. You overpowered me and won…” (Jer. 20:7, GW). Like Naomi, I complained, “…the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty…” (Ruth 1:20-21). I insisted that I needed to know God was on my side, or I was done.

In His grace and mercy, the Lord heard my cries and overlooked my temper tantrum. The very next day, while I was in the kitchen, I turned on the radio to listen to some music. The Christian station I tuned into played hours of songs that ministered to my heart and spoke to every one of my complaints. It was like their playlist was programmed specifically with me in mind!

Shortly thereafter, a dear lady from our Tuesday night Bible study told me she would be willing to mentor me. This senior saint has been discipled personally by such well-known ministers as Dutch Sheets and Cindy Jacobs. She is a gifted intercessor and an insightful counselor.

Finally, on September 17, I got the call from the coordinator of the district subs that I needed to pick up a fingerprint packet and attend orientation the following week. I thought this was yet another step in the long process to get this job. I had already applied and given my info for a background check. I figured the district leaders would give us more details about the job, see if we were still interested, and then begin the interview process. It wasn’t until I was told the following Monday to bring my Social Security card, photo ID and direct deposit info that I realized I was “in”—without having to do any kind of interview!

Working with the students and teachers so far has been such a blessing. My first week I filled in for special ed teachers at two different high schools and subbed for a teacher’s aid at an elementary school. The students have been delightful, and I got to sit in on some incredible lectures (Technology has revolutionized the classroom! Who knew even history could be fun?). The teachers that work with these kids have their jobs cut out for them. But, as I wrote in my notes to each one, they are my heroes—dedicating their careers to equipping the financially, mentally, socially-challenged youngsters of this city’s toughest school district for success.

I am so grateful for Christian brothers and sisters who asked the Lord to provide me with a good job. I pray that He opens the right doors to place me in classrooms and offices where I can encourage the students, teachers, administrators and support staff. May the Lord put His words into my mouth, His thoughts into my mind and His love in my heart for each individual with whom I come in contact. Perhaps I can be the one to bring the assurance of God’s concern for others who feel they’ve “had it” with the pressures of life!