…‘Cause the bridge that burned took you out of the way
Made you turn around and face the demons
In the end you’ll learn you’ll get there any way
Sometimes it all goes wrong for the right reasons…
Have you ever thought about what that last line says, “Sometimes it all goes wrong for the right reasons?” How can things going wrong be for the right reasons? I understand that hardships are a part of life and they make us who we are, but how can going through a storm be a good thing? I recently learned what that means so I thought I would share it with you.
For those of you who are regular readers of my personal blog, you know that this past school year was…tough…excruciatingly tough. I was given the opportunity to fulfill a dream of mine and teach kindergarten. I was so excited! I spent hours, weeks, and hundreds of dollars preparing for the year; I could hardly contain my excitement. However, as quickly as I saw my dream come true, it just as quickly became a nightmare. I know that things don’t always turn out like you think they will, and sometimes things are harder than expected, but this was more than that. Things started bad and never got any better. My babies were learning, but nothing else would go right. I not only felt like a complete failure, but in a roundabout way, I was being told that by those in charge. I begged for guidance so I could become the best teacher for my babies, but none came. So I reached out to some resources I knew but nothing seemed to work. By Christmas vacation I wanted out. I even looked for jobs, but I knew I couldn’t leave my babies mid-year. So I made a vow to myself to stick it out till the end of the year.
The spring semester started and things got even worse. Every time I would think, “things can’t get much worse,” they did. I was miserable and it showed. My co-workers could see it on my non-smiling face. I was no longer the happy, optimistic Miller they knew. I would fly off the handle at my students over the littlest and stupidest things; I would break out into tears; I would come home too exhausted to cook, so I would deplete my checking account by eating out every night; I turned to my bad habit of eating my feelings. I filled myself with candy, sodas and fried foods, which lead to me putting all the weight back on I had worked so hard for a year to lose. I would sleep, but still wake up tired. I would often sleep until I had to walk out the door to be at work; which meant there were days I would go to work without taking care of my appearance. I would just throw on clean work clothes, tie my hair back in a ponytail and just barely make it to work on time. It all came to a head one day when I felt myself spin out of control. My class had been sent with an aid for a project so I could handle a situation. I fell on the floor in a full-on panic attack. I had to remind myself to breathe slowly and relax so the room would stop spinning. I knew enough was enough. I knew I could not do another year like this one.
That night I went home and started praying to God about my next move. I knew I couldn’t stay where I was and keep doing what I was doing. A friend of mine told me about a job opening at a private school. I had always said I would never teach in the private sector; the reputation of the private school kids was not attractive to me, so I wasn’t thrilled with the possibility. But the more I dug in to prayer, the more God kept opening my eyes to this new school. He made me realize that I knew several people who had attended this school and they were far from the “stigma” I had placed on private schools. I still wasn’t sure of my direction. Then one night in prayer, God told me to trust him; to let go of my current job and to let him provide me with a new opportunity. To make sure I knew that this was God calling, I prayed and fasted, but most of all, I listened. I was so overcome by God’s peace, that I knew what I had to do.
Without a job waiting for me, I took the biggest leap of faith I have ever made in my life. I informed the administration at my school that I would not be returning for the next school year. That turned out to be 100 times easier than my next task, which was telling my parents about my new plan. My parents, who raised me in the church and being believers themselves, didn’t understand this level of faith. They were scared for me, but understood that I couldn’t stay where I was so unhappy. After that, any time I would start to question my decision, God would send me little reminders in something I was reading, or in sermons I attended. I knew I had made the right choice.
After I resigned from the school, I figured I would spend my summer vacation applying to schools and waiting eagerly for the phone to ring. But after praying, I went ahead and filled out the application to the private school my friend had told me about. As I sent it in, I prayed that God would open every door, if this was the place for me. Two weeks after I turned in my resignation and with one week of school left, I was offered a job as a 2nd grade teacher at Trinity Christian School. Even with the significant pay cut I would take, I never thought twice about it. I knew that this was where God wanted me and He would continue to take care of me.
So maybe that line in the song is right; maybe things do go wrong for the right reasons. If this past year hadn’t been this bad, I never would have made this bold move, and trusted God so intensely. If you are in the middle of a storm right now, hold on! Trust God! Pray to Him and ask Him to show you where to go and what to do. As it says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”