It's not a surprise to anyone who knows me that my new teaching job hasn't been a blast. In August, excited to have my first grown-up job in America and bursting with a desire to make a difference for the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum, I felt slapped in the face by the U.S. Public Education system. Nearly every negative thing I'd heard or read about our schools I was experiencing. Teaching to the test. A school culture centered entirely around test scores. Bare classrooms. Bureaucracy. Ridiculous demands on my time.
I wallowed for a long time. I cried every day for the first several weeks. I didn't eat well. I got mad at Daniel, even though he did nothing wrong. I missed Pinares and my former students so badly it hurt. I doubted why we ever decided to come back. I was sad all the time.
Then I started adjusting. I didn't love it, or even like it, but I was getting a handle on what was expected. I was doing a good job. Administrators seemed to like me. I started teaching adult English classes, which was fulfilling and provided a little extra cash. At home, Daniel had acquired two jobs and we started renting our guest room through Airbnb.com, so money wasn't such a struggle. Things started looking up.
No, it hasn't been the best year ever, like 2011. I like to think of 2012 as the Year of Change. Our lives at this moment are so different than they were in 2011. But I'm sticking the title I chose back in April--the Year of Provision. God has provided for our every need. In every way. I'm awed by it. It seems like I should have had to work a lot harder to get all of this to work out. An international move. New city. New jobs.
Gratitude is an understatement. I am sitting here, ready to go celebrate the dawn of a new year, and so humbled by the realization that I wasted so much of the past few months mourning what we left behind, instead of living in the present.
So I am resolved not to waste any more of my life in 2013. I will focus on the good things happening, even amidst any crappy situations I may face. I will work hard, and know that it's not in vain.
Here's to the new year!
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3: 13-14.