Today I recieved an email that nearly brought me to tears. It was actually a facebook message notification, several paragraphs long, containing primarily school district information and links to progress plans and the like. So it wasn’t necessarily what the email said, but what the email meant.
This spring kicked off year #2 that husband has been looking for a full-time teaching gig. I’ve mentioned his last positions in passing – a half time teacher/aid position at a ridiculously awful school and then a long-term sub post for a retiring teacher that ended in the position disippaiting for next year. Now we’re on to the 2011-12 openings, and thus far there have been 2 in his subject area. For the state of Ohio.
Husband has been told 3 times that he was 2nd choice. I’m not sure it’s all that comforting to know that he was *this* close. He’s had numerous interviews and after several (the “2nd choice” ones) he comes home feeling really good about it. And then… no. The disappointment is suffocating.
I know that he’ll be a great teacher. He was this past year, even in extremely difficult situations. It’s a tough time to be – or become – a teacher. But we’ve been working toward this for nearly 4 years, from the time he decided to return to school for a masters. We’ve put a lot out there – moved, left jobs, got new jobs, juggled schedules and trimmed a household budget down to the nibs. But we did it knowing it would be worth it.
The lack of clarity weighs on us… we’re willing to move for a good position, so it’s been mentally tough to get settled. I couldn’t even decide how much of a garden I would plant this year for fear I wouldn’t be around to tend and harvest it. I told him the other evening that for 3 years now all I’ve wanted was to plant berry bushes, but I keep holding off to make sure we’ll actually get to taste the fruit. We can’t imagine where we’ll be in 5 months, the future just a cloudy fog of unknown.
Don’t get me wrong; we’re extremely fortunate. My employer has been more than gracious with time off to have babies and yet taking on exciting assignments and working part time, but at a wage that I can afford to do so. We fell in a huge heap o’ luck and blessing when we bought our house; no matter how small the paychecks, we don’t fear foreclosure. Rather, we have more than enough of everything we need. Our cars run, our fridge is full and we rarely feel like we’re missing anything – life is, actually, good. We both have an ongoing opportunity to take on more hours, so if an education opening doesn’t pan out, we’re not down to nothing. In all of this, we’re very well cared for and we realize that we’re blessed. We live knowing that it’s going to be alright. Because it always is.
So we’ve lived in the tension of knowing we’ll be fine yet perpetually yearning for what is next. Sometimes, hope is exhausting.
So when Sarah J (sorry, “D”, but she’ll always be J to me) has taken step after step to help us, offering advice, tidbits and even writing a recommendation on his behalf, I’ve been taken aback by the love. So often these kinds of struggles are bore alone, but she has stepped into our plight willingly and graciously.
Our friends and family have shown concern and empathy with our situation; there have been many a prayer on our behalf. That’s about all one can do, unless s/he’s a principal with a business education opening next year. But SJD was put into a place that could offer us direction and advice, a practical leg-up alongside the spiritual one.
And she stepped in.
I’ve heard the rhetoric before about “standing in the gap” for those around us, being a voice and an advocate. I know the situation seems trivial, but I feel like that’s what she’s done. She went home sick, 9 months pregnant, but was sure to send us all her thoughts and advice for this simple 1st round interview. And her thoughts weren’t generci, simple flippant attempts to brush us off, but rather true words of hearing and seeing our situation.
I’m thankful for friends who love like that. Even if it pans to nothing – which is likely in a district that has, quite literally, thousands of applicants a year – it’s yet another experience for us to know that really we’re never alone.