This post is dedicated to Tessa who left me such a sweet comment on my last post. Made my day. Thank you, darlin’.
Two days ago I had one of the worst substitute teaching experiences of my life.
I was told by my sponsor, “You don’t trust God. In fact, based on how you keep walking in the opposite direction of your gifting I believe the real truth is ‘You Hate God.'”
If I didn’t feel terrible before I called her I did when I hung up.
I didn’t feel much better the next morning as I swirled in shame for canceling a sub assignment I had previously accepted. (Truth bomb: I’m way less driven by my emotions now that I’m sober, but I have not yet reached enlightenment.)
Instead of taking contrary action and help other people to take the focus off myself (as we program people are encouraged to do because it works) I moaned to Tuskany about my horrific road blocks. I complained about how I couldn’t sleep the previous night due to my rapid heart beats of fear and trying to figure it all out. I complained about how I’m terrified of being at odds with Rex about finances, that I think maybe having a birthday party is a terrible idea and that perhaps I’m never going to find my purpose in life after all other than to find a magic genie at one of my thrift stores who agrees the only thing I need to do to be happy is drink coffee, inhale carbs and watch the final season of Glee.
Sorry you all missed the Pity Party. I’ll send you an advanced invitation for next one.
But that fiesta won’t be today because… the rest of my day turned out to be Duckin’ Awesome!
Why the quick emotional turn around? Well, it’s pretty simple. I trusted God. I decided I didn’t need to do everything perfectly. I didn’t need to decide that yesterday was the day to go into a downward-spiraled depression over my floors that need re-varnishing, my walls that need repainting or the lack of funds in my account for Disney passes and a trip with my kids to this super cool Finland hotel that would make Elsa weep with jealousy.
I could ask God to remove my fear of not being a good enough parent, a good enough daughter, a good enough worker and a good enough friend.
I could trust that God has me subbing because I’m growing my soul right now, if not my bank account, but that I don’t have to do it every single day anymore.
I could trust that in turning down a 20-day guaranteed assignment in an emotionally disturbed classroom might cost me $1000 (to cover my kids’ driving lessons) but there is no hourly rate on my own personal mental health.
With all this ridiculous amount of surrender and trust out the way (I’m super greedy with God’s love) I was able to BE loved rather than BE God (as I’m wont to do) and things just lit up like a slot machine for the rest of the day. I mean, God really showed off.
psycho-analysis/dark night of the soul/mental loop to loop THANK GOD I LANDED IN PEACE epiphany out of the way I was able to write. I could trust that God did not give me all sorts of words and ideas only to say, “Just kidding. Go and be miserable at a sub job for the rest of your existence.”
For me, after almost 24 hours of hell, that was exciting news! And it still feels amazing.
And… here’s best part of my current pink cloud awakening – and the reason for this post: When I woke up at 530am to the sound of the school system calling me for a job, I was able to listen with confidence in my heart, not pounding fear, thanks to this news.
When I heard they wanted me to teach music in a prison like middle school where the kids ditch my classroom would rather play their phones than a tuba, I did something I’ve never done before.
I said “No.”
God is everything or he is nothing.
I put my head back on the pillow with confidence that something better would come along.
Five minutes later I got a call to teach a super chill high school. “Yes Please!” I drove to work with joy – yes, joy – and even got a great space in the parking lot.
Similar to my experience at this school last week, I have done very little teaching. All classes have either been taught by other math teachers (and let’s get real, I wouldn’t know the quadratic formula if it pinched my white butt on Main Street) or they have been populated with only 7 students. My last period of the day? I’ll have 5.
I trusted God and I got rewarded. I’m starting to get this.
God is everything or he is nothing.
In closing, I chose the picture at the top of this post because I often feel like that house: I like adventure, but I want to stay warm and cozy on the inside. I want to dream my own dreams while people braver than me go out into the cold winter air and fight wolves.
But right before posting this blog a friend from the program wrote me. And, similar to my serendipities of late, her message had a different spin.
The Spiritual Takeaway?
When we can trust ourselves, and set boundaries (though difficult at first) we can experience so much more excitement than just playing it safe. And readers, we can do this with the God of our understanding.
God is everything or he is nothing.
And One More Takeaway for Good Measure
Even the nicest high school students don’t say “thank you” when they leave your classroom. They also think it’s okay to leave free cafeteria food on their desks and check their phones rather than do their math work. As a teacher, this must be frustrating. But for this writer, who is also a sub so IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM I’m learning that acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
Throw in saying “No” to crap sub jobs and thermos of hot dark decaf and you can have yourself a pretty damn good day.
Happy weekend! I’ve sooooo enjoyed many of your blogs – old friends and new ones – and I’ll catch up with you Monday.
My book is available on Amazon. (Note: It’s a special ed journey… your kid doesn’t need to have Tourettes to relate!) Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on Facebook. )
6 thoughts on “I Said No and My Potentially Crappy Day is Now a Giant Hellllll Yes (And more on how trusting God is everything or He is nothing)”
WAY TO GO, YOU!!! That surrender is hard, but can be so freeing if you are trusting. Not easy, but the reward, so sweet.
My husband has long believed me to be self centered with what I agree to do and not do. I hardly buckle under social “shoulds” and that makes him bonkers. I finally get to call my own damn shots. Growing up with an abusive, dominating mother I ran away 3x before I could finally support myself at 17yo.
So after 25 years of marriage, he’s starting to jump onto my “no” train, or at least on the “let me think about it train rather than the immediate “yes” train.
Thank you so much. (((xoxo)))
And ooooh that hotel is simply amazing looking.
Are you a person who relies on God (no judgement, just curious your take) or are you just good at setting boundaries based on experience? All I know is it feels GREAT. And good on you!
Hello! That’s a hard one to answer, if I rely on God. I often wonder if I do, and think that I really ought to (as my husband truly does, and I admire that in him.) I have a belief in God, and I attribute the goodness and favor that come my way to Him, have a good practice of thanking Him, even for minor gifts (parking spots, a yummy cup of coffee.) Even the challenging bits deserve a thank you. How else am I going to grow without a little adversity, or push outside my comfort zone?
You’re right, I guess, boundaries based on life’s experiences. Also I don’t want any extra baggage of shoulds, musts, ought to’s…
Recently I knew I really ought to stay with my mom when I drove her to the hospital for a procedure. All she asked was that I drive her one day and pick her up the next. I pulled up to the entrance, handed her her bag and said adios. I knew it would be kind and generous to stay and help her, listen to her worries. But. But our past is complicated and I don’t love her. I drove around the block to call my husband because, as I knew in my heart, he would tell me to stay and help her, that it would be the right thing to do. BUT. Anyways I put on my selfless pants, parked and stayed with her. She was elated. It felt good to give. But.
What a beautiful story. I see so much God in you. LIke I always tell people, my God is not your God. Not very Christian, perhaps, but I don’t believe we all sense God the same way. We all have a conscience. We know what is right when we strip ourselves away from the world’s pressure. Love to you.
You don’t always have to do everything all the time. Nobody can, without something breaking down somewhere.
As I got older I learned that I didn’t always have to say ‘I can do this’. Sometimes it’s OK to say ‘I don’t have to do this’ – especially if you don’t.
I’m still not good at saying no, but there will be times when you know that somebody needs you to say yes (I’m thinking, for instance, in terms of being a grandma now). Save your courage or strength (whatever it takes) for those times. You’ll be stronger to face them if you haven’t burned out on challenges you didn’t need to take on.
Yes, you are right of course. Thank you