Pssst….Can I Tell You a Secret?

I’m really not happy with teaching English anymore. I’m not sure what the deal is or what to do about or whether I should do anything about it. The novelty has worn off. My interests have changed. At this point, I don’t care so much if a person knows the difference between direct characterization and indirect characterization as much as I care about them knowing about Jesus. About caring as to whether or not teen girls are feeling pressured too early to be having sex or become women. I care more about the moral relativism of our youth and world and what we can do to make a difference. I still love teens. I still care about their welfare. But don’t care about writing that novel I always dreamed of. I don’t even care about writing my memoirs. None of that matters. I want to change lives in profound ways. I want to write books about real issues from which real women are suffering. I want to show them a real answer in Christ in a way that makes sense to them and through a medium to which they will pay attention. And with the current economic effects on the stability and security of my job, it just doesn’t seem worth it when I don’t have the same heart I once did.

So what to do? It has only been since the baby boomers that we have had this notion to believe our job should be doing something we love. There are plenty of people who have jobs much less fulfilling than mine and yet they still find joy in their lives. They still find ways to be fulfilled in their impact on the world. Does mine have to be my job? Can’t I just do my job and then find joy and satisfaction in the other areas of my life? Or should I try to change professions? At the same time, my husband is the one who is going to school now and working on a course toward a new career. Shouldn’t I stick with this to give some stability? Is there stability if I don’t even know if I’ll have a teaching job come June?

I need thoughts. I need advice. I need prayer. I need to have a glimpse of an idea of where God wants me. And if he wants me teaching English in public school then so be it–I just need Him to change my perspective on it so I can find joy in it again. And if he doesn’t want me doing this anymore, please pray that I have the vision to see the doors he is opening, the courage to take risks and be willing to suffer a bit if needed to get through the paths that will lead me through those doors if that is what needs to happen.

In the end, I need to trust that regardless of any of this–God is in control. God is taking care of me.

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6 thoughts on “Pssst….Can I Tell You a Secret?

  1. OK, we need to hang out sometime soon. (But unfortunately not this weekend because I’ll be gone…)
    I TOTALLY know what you’re feeling, and regularly go through similar cycles. Really, who cares about reading and writing when eternities are at stake! But here’s what keeps me going: my classroom is my mission field. And while I may not be preaching Jesus at every moment, my life and actions are still speaking volumes. Last year, Amy Martin inspired me that she prays for her students every morning. I don’t know if she still does it, but for the next few months, I tried to pray through one row of my seating chart each morning–that God would give me his eyes to see their hurts and fears, and give me opportunities to be his arms and mouth to them, that students would see that I care about them and come to me if they ever needed to talk…The more I did it, the more I found myself going out of my way to reach out to the specific students I prayed for that day, and the more I became aware of specific situations they were dealing with. I can’t say I recall any major life-changing stories, but I’m sure God used my efforts.
    Unfortunately, natural laziness/preoccupation has pushed that habit under the stack of papers I never get to, but maybe that will be my new habit again starting Monday…Hmmm…Thanks!
    The other thing that totally helps me is working in the youth ministry at church–it ties my love of students and my love of telling them about God together. That would be a great thing for you and Owen to do together! (And you never know what kind of cheap/free babysitting sources you may discover!!!) :o)
    And finally, in terms of writing that matters, that has totally been Jim/my heart with this movie project of ours. As an English person, I never even considered writing because I didn’t think I had anything worthwhile to say. But now that we’ve written a message that is changing lives (OK, God wrote the message, but used us…), we’re going to keep going…So I could see God totally tying all that together for you!
    Sorry for the long response, but I totally resonated with your struggle. I heard it called once a state of “holy discontent”…It’s actually a good place to be!

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    • Thanks Rachel!!

      This means so much to me. I appreciate your wise words and have already noticed a new excitement happening in me with teaching since I wrote this, so I think God is answering my prayers. At least he is saying to enjoy it and do well at through the rest of this year. After budget cuts and the job search this summer, we shall see where he wants me to go next. 🙂

      –Theresa

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  2. I had that same crisis two years ago. I really had a soul searching summer: what do I actually LIKE about my job. I decided that if I could find something that truly brought me joy, even the smallest thing, I would stick to it and try my darndest to expand that one thing I loved. I started my Masters two years later (after getting a 4.0!!) administration just approved a new elective at our school that was the one thing I identified as my passion. I looked for the positive and went after it. I am SOOO excited to teach the new elective next year. So, my lovely wrinkle-free friend, look for the one thing you love. It sounds like it is fellowship with young women. You can do BOTH! I know it’s difficult at a school in which you don’t even know if you’ll be back. But, start working with a high school group at a church…see how that goes. If you still love it, maybe God will give you a school that is in need of a “Christian Club” advisor…or maybe you can go to seminary and become a youth pastor!! It might not be an immediate fix…it may take a little thinking, praying and soul searching to find the perfect solution. But, let me tell you, once I decided what I wanted to go after (my masters) i was a little happier at work because there was “an end in sight.” Maybe you take a few seminary classes at night and still teach to pay the bills. You might find yourself a little more relaxed at school because you know you are following a plan. I am sure you are like me that you struggle with the feeling if you are going after your plan or God’s plan. You just gotta think, pray, talk with Owen and go for what your heart leads. I am convinced that when I finally feel like my heart is leading, that is God talking to me and leading me.
    I love you my dear dear friend!
    Chandra

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  3. Mrs Hemsath,

    I honestly LOVE having you as a teacher, and I totally understand why you feel this way. Kids are constantly treating you with disrespect, and some kids are just straight up not trying in your class, and then blaming you for their bad grade. But the TRUTH is that your an amazing teacher, and don’t let anyone ruin your love for English. I just wanted to let you know that you always have someone in 4th period that truly cares about you! I know that you will do well in whatever you choose to do!
    -XOXO!!!

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    • Thanks secret student! This year has actually been great, but I’m sure its even better now since I’ve developed a rapport with you guys. Nothing like last year!! I love teaching again! Hope you come back again to my blog to read more. And maybe reveal yourself at some point. 🙂

      –Mrs. Hemsath

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  4. Pingback: My New Class « Owen and Theresa's Blog

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