Have you ever jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire?
I loved my job.
It really was a job that had a lot of things I really loved. I knew that I was making a difference and that was so important to me.
But I felt frustrated, unappreciated, confused, and stuck. I had hit a glass ceiling where I was. I was told that I would not be promoted, I was too young. There was nothing I could do about that.
It was time to move on.
I started the job hunt. It didn’t take long to find another job. It seemed like a dream.
1 application, 1 job interview, 1 new job.
I jumped right out of that frying pan into my new job.
It started off great. I really liked being in charge. I was getting the hang of the new responsibilities and felt like I was making a difference.
Then the crazy started.
When I say crazy I mean crazy. I was the director of a national chain child care facility. After just 3 weeks on the job one of my employees hot lined another employee for child abuse.
It was a one day investigation in which I was told that they were not able to substantiate the charge. I had to tell the parents of 100 children what had happened that day. It went much better than I thought it would.
The next day the employee who made the call did not show up on time to work, I wrote her up. She did come in just in time for the news crew to show up.
I did not want to be on the News.
I have never dreamed of being on the news that was for sure. The parents withdrew their child and I was hoping it was going to settle down.
The next day I was contacted by a local detective. I had to go to the police station to make an offical statement.
Another thing I that was not on my bucket list. This is the point in which I began to think that I had jumped into the fire……
I also was accused for creating a hostile work environment. The story of the fire goes on and on.
Since school was a challenge for me never, never, never give up was deeply ingrained in my character. I was determined to make it work. I was the boss. I could make it right, I just knew I could.
I was so stressed……I could not sleep, I could not eat.
I prayed constantly, asking the Lord for wisdom. I wanted to do a good job. I wanted to be able to be the leader the staff needed. Both the stress and the Lord’s presence were intense during this time.
This intense period of time only lasted for 3 months. I finally heard the Lord clearly, not that He had not been talking I was just struggling to believe I was hearing Him right.
It was His will to step out in faith and walk away.
I resigned and trusted for the next job to come along. It did.
When I look back on this time I remember it as being a bitter sweet time with the Lord. The refining fire was intense but the dependence on my Lord brought me to the place I needed to take another leap of faith and make an even bigger change in my life.
Have you experienced the refiner’s fire? How did it grow your faith?
Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God.
Daniel 3: 28
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Life was full of changes.
I had the green light to move forward in life as a single lady. Letting go of my ten year marriage was difficult but I knew that the Lord had released me from that covenant. I will write about that another time.
Love it but I want a life.
Now how was I going to get out of the job which I loved but was tired of having no life because of. I had spent 18 months living in hotels working in 9 different Sylvan Learning Centers. I was ready for a life again. Where would that life be? As I prayed and searched the Lord for answers all I knew was that big change was coming.
I know it is time to move on but where, how?
After months of praying and even sending my resume to a ministry organization in another state, I still did not know what was going to happen; I just knew my life was not going to look anything like it did now after this transition. Then the decision was made to close a Sylvan Learning Center in a small town in Kansas, 4 hours from home, which I had been helping run.
I knew the decision made logical sense but my heart was broke for those families.
Nudges from the Spirit
Then the first nudge happened. The director of that location which was moving out of the country said to me, you should buy this center. I laughed and went on with preparing the location to close.
A week or so later my dad and I were visiting about how I felt about the center closing. He said, “Do you know how much it would cost because I would love to buy it for you, you would do a great job of running it yourself?” I laughed him off.
Less than a week later my direct supervisor asked me if I had ever thought of owning my own Sylvan Center. I told her no not really. She said I needed to pray about it because she really thought that the center we were closing would be a perfect start for me.
Like Peter hearing the cock crow I realized I had heard that same message 3 times…… could it be the Lord trying to get my attention in the middle of my frantic prayers for direction?
Hello Rayna, are you listening for my voice?
After spending some time in prayer I began to think that it was. I went back to my dad and asked him if he was serious. He was. Less than 3 months later we were partners and owners of a Sylvan Learning Center…
We packed up all my belongings, moved me into a duplex in a small town where I only knew the 15 employees in my new business. As my dad drove away I thought, OK Lord what have you gotten me into this time.
He whispered to my heart….welcome to your promised land.
I had wondered so long waiting to see if my marriage would be saved and if the life I had dreamed of with my ex-husband would become what I knew it could be.
When I was released and told I could move on. The new business, in the new town, with just my Lord, I knew it was a land of milk and honey….. a land of provision I never even knew to dream of.
Life is hard in many ways but the Lord is always there. Take Heart, He is always walking along side of you, willing to restore what the locus has eaten.
“Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. “
As long as I can remember all I have ever wanted to be was a teacher so that is what I did but it wasn’t what I thought it would be.
What gifts do you feel God has given you? I knew one of mine was teaching.
I had a bad start in school.
When I was first grade I had a teacher who scared me to death. The sad thing was I did not realize school was not supposed to be that way. I still loved school and never complained.
The problem was I was not learning.
Then I met my Favorite teacher ever.
By second grade I was behind. Thankfully I had an amazing teacher who immediately identified the problem and got me some help. Not only did she help me get the remediation I needed but she encouraged me every step of the way.
Thanks to Mrs. Moore I dreamed of being a teacher like her ever since then.
Made it, I became a Teacher.
School is such an important part of our lives when we are young. I was thankful to have a relationship with the Lord early in my life since I needed Him to help me get through school.
I was never the student I wanted to be but I was able to trust the Lord that I was just as He created me to be.
Through the years my dream never changed. I worked hard and with the Lord by my side I graduated with honors from high school and then college. I did it I was an Elementary Teacher.
My First job
My first job was as a 4th grade teacher in a private Christian School. I loved my kids and the challenge of making school fun while making sure my students found success.
But after a few years I found that some kids were not cut out for this school’s fast pace and accelerated curriculum. I was frustrated by the way I was frustrating them and causing them to feel poorly about themselves.
I could so relate to the feeling of working as hard as I could and not doing as well as I wanted to. I just could not be the one who was telling them they were not good enough.
My Second job
So I decided to try a new environment. My next job was as a reading specialist and gifted teacher. I enjoyed working with both kids who struggled and those whom school came easy too.
But again I was frustrated my not being able to fix everything and help all students succeed.
Lord wasn’t this my dream? I had followed you, right?
Due to financial needs I started working part time for Sylvan Learning Center where everything was completely individualized and I saw the kids make great gains. I prayed for a chance to spend my time making a bigger difference for kids.
When a full time position at Sylvan became available I jumped at the chance to move into a new dream.
Have you ever found yourself in a place where you got just what you thought you wanted only to find that it is not what you want anymore?
Trusting God to move you into new places and things can be a challenge but it will also bring many blessings you didn’t even know were possible.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5