The Faithfulness of God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 1, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“I would have lost hope had I not believed I would see the goodness of God in the land of the living.” ~Psalm 27:13

I serve a God who is faithful to the end and is able to resurrect the dead. While I can testify to being a living miracle who was not supposed to live to see my first birthday, today I am talking about the resurrection of a dead dream and a dead calling. In 2006, I knew as clear as day that my primary ministry was to be with youth and the next generation. In 2009, God started a chain of events which lead me to get my teaching certificate in math and physics, which I completed in 2012.

I had some job interviews right away, however nothing materialized, and I needed to start paying off my student loans. Then God gave me the opportunity to become a substitute teacher. While it did not pay enough for me to live completely on my own, it was able to pay the bills. As more interviews continued to fall short, another opportunity came up for me to become a “permanent substitute,” where I would be stationed at the same local high school every day. I no longer had to worry about finding a job for the day because I was guaranteed pay even if there were no formal assignments for me.

During this time, I was assigned to several “long term” assignments where I was effectively the teacher on record while a new teacher was being hired or was on maternity leave. My first one was with ROTC, and while having never been involved in the military or an ROTC program, the other instructors were so impressed with me in how fast I was picking things up that if I had military experience, they would have hired me on the spot. I did other classes, namely in the sciences like chemistry and biology for 3-week stints while teachers were on maternity leave and being hired. Three years ago, I was assigned to a physics class seven weeks into the year and I ended up teaching the class the rest of the year as the teacher but paid as a sub. I learned a LOT during that time period where I pretty much did everything a teacher does except the formal documentation, and that was only because I could not access the system due to being a substitute. I applied for that position I was covering seven times but it was clear I was never on the radar for discussion for the job.

I had one interview where I knew I was close. The principal at the school called me in for a pre-interview for a computer programming class. He was very impressed with my credentials, but I never got the job. I found him a few days later and asked him what was up and he said I was one of the top three but there was one who was slightly favored more. I was okay with that. I continued to have more interviews, and only that one even gave a hint that I was even being considered. In light of being constantly turned down, I got discouraged. I wrote about my struggles on this issue and my desire to be faithful to God despite the constant rejection in my posts “Getting Slighted,” “Do Not Doubt in the Dark,” and “Amen Living.” I constantly had the account of Joseph (Genesis 37-48) on my mind, reminding me to stay true to God.

It didn’t help that the main advice I was getting about getting the full-time teaching position was to finish paying off my student loans and then I could do whatever I wanted. I knew that was poor advice because getting the job just to pay off the loans and then quitting to do something else was the wrong motive. If I was to get the teaching job I needed it to be a career, but more and more it looked dead. I began thinking I would stay as a sub until loans were paid off and then go find some other ministry to be involved with. The idea of being a classroom teacher was dead and I had no interest in pursuing it any further. Even looking at job openings gave me absolutely no interest or desire to apply. And yet the entire time, I knew full well never to try to make anything happen in my own strength. I had opportunities to go to HR and ask why I had not been hired, as many educators had suggested I do at this point. But I knew I was not to do that. I would not take things into my own hands and likely as a result cut myself short of what God had in plan all along.

Then in September, my parents had a talk with me about needing to renew my search for a job because I simply could not pay my bills as I had been the previous six years. I had expenses I was not counting on or realized how much from my savings they would consume, and I was getting to a point of literally running out of money before paychecks came in. My parents’ advice was that I needed the better paying job because I needed to be able to live on my own and be able to absorb a sudden bill like a major car repair, which I could not do at that time. That was advice I could take.

That night, I was reading in my devotional from Blackaby (September 9 in the book) and it was on Luke 5:5 where Peter had been fishing all night and caught nothing. Then in the morning, Jesus told him to drop his nets and Peter, an expert fisherman, knew there would be nothing but obeyed anyway and caught his biggest load ever. The devotional went on to say that when you have exhausted everything and still have nothing, if God tells you try one more time, would you? God immediately spoke to my heart about this teaching job and I told Him that night if He were to give me another chance, I’d apply for it.

A couple weeks later, I found a job posting for a science position with a heavy background in physics, my area of expertise, at a school I had been to as a sub but never applied to before. I applied, and nearly a month later after the application window closed, I had an interview that I knew was by far my best one. The interviewing panel really perked up when I said I had already taught physics before as a substitute. The next day, I had a second interview with the principal, the furthest I had ever gotten in any of my 20 interviews. God is able to turn the hearts of kings, so a principal and some central office personnel in HR are not a problem for Him. Two weeks later, the district central office called me due to a problem with finding my teaching certificate and I talked them through to find it and they did. The next two days, two of the teachers I had worked with and used as a reference told me they were contacted by the district. I knew what that meant. The central office would not be running through my application and verifying me unless I was the nominated candidate by the school. I was now just waiting for the final official word that I was hired.

I had a brief scare when I saw a different job posting for a physics position and I called HR to find out what was up. They had reposted the position specifically to allow for me to be formally qualified, as my current certification just includes physics and math and not all sciences (though I am currently studying and preparing to remedy that). I knew I could stop praying for this job because I had the answer. I had the job. A little time later, I got the call that I was formally recommended and that I needed to submit my transcripts, ID info, and sign a new background form. Two days later, the central office called me to let me know that my principal was being notified of my being recommended for the job and asking for when I could be released from my current school. That came through last week. My final day as a substitute was one week ago today and I signed all the final paper work.

God is so good and faithful. He directed me towards teaching and time and time again I kept getting denied. It was hard to stay faithful when the dream was dead it appeared to be clear that nothing was going to happen, but I knew God had full control of the situation. As I waited for Him to make my next step clear, I kept trucking along and doing what I knew best I could do. God delivered and I know He will bless me more in this current position in fewer years than I ever could have been had I rushed things and tried to make them happen. I am a formal full-time physics teacher and I am looking forward to being in a classroom where I can influence this next generation and be a guiding light in a world where they do not have any.

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