My last post had more than double the views on any post I’ve written before, which was awesome, but also intimidating. How do I follow that up? It’s a lot easier for an introvert to pour out her heart when she doesn’t think anyone is going to read it anyway, and hopes that the ones who do are strangers so it won’t matter if they find out my intimate secrets and feelings. Of course, there’s also the part of me that kept checking my stats and smiling. When I was on the programming team at my church, our pastor always told us, “They don’t have to all be home-runs.” All right. I’m ok with that. Maybe we’ll just get to first base today. Maybe I’ll just bunt the ball. Maybe I’ll foul out. That’s about all I know for baseball metaphors, so I’m just going to move on now. I apologize to any of you who actually know about baseball. I’m sure I screwed something up there.
As I mentioned in my last post (if you are reading this and did not read that one, go back and read it- it’s better), I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life than working to fight against human trafficking and helping the survivors to rebuild their lives. That being said, I come to the part I don’t want many people to read, because I’m either really brave for putting this out there, or stupid. Probably stupid. There may be people reading this that I shouldn’t be revealing this to yet.
How am I going to commit my life’s work to being a full-time abolitionist and keep my day job?
My day job consumes every ounce of energy I have, and fills almost every second of my day except when I’m sleeping, though I dream about it often as well. I get two months out of the year to remember who I am and to have other interests. I’m a teacher. And a perfectionist. This means I put everything into what I do. Colossians 3:23 basically says we are to do everything we do with all our hearts as if we’re working for God and not people, so I do. This makes me good at what I do, though I still always feel like so much more is expected, especially with all the stupid recent developments in education in Florida.
One of the reasons we never adopted a child (still a possibility) is because I cannot imagine raising a human being and being a teacher. I know people do it all the time, but I don’t know how I would ever make that work. I would be good at one and fail at the other. So I feel like my career holds me back from a lot. I know I touch lives, and I love my students (most of them). I would never say being a teacher was a waste or a bad decision, but I told my husband when I started it that if I ever felt like I was heading towards burn out and feared becoming one of those ineffective and jaded teachers, it would be time to move on. At that point I didn’t have anything else in mind. The calling towards abolition has been recent. I thought once I had more teaching experience I would have more time for other interests, but last year was the most overwhelming so far, and next year looms scarily similar on the horizon.
Sure, I can use my job to spread the word. I had the opportunity to explain to my students why I was missing school for three days last year to run from Miami to Key West, and I’ve had a few interesting discussions with students interested in making a difference. Most of the kids I teach, being for the most part the more advanced and globally aware students, are perfect to motivate for my cause, but that isn’t enough for me. I want to do that full time.
But we have a mortgage, which means we own a house requiring maintenance, cars to upkeep and fuel, utilities to pay, food to purchase (yep, gotta eat), etc. My husband was unemployed for almost two years, so we know a bit about going without, but I can’t just quit my job.
So here is the time in my life where I have to consider my options. My husband Robert and I do not yet have a clear picture of what we will be doing to help end human trafficking and helping to rebuild lives, so we need to settle that first, and then figure out how to do it. I will continue to work my current job to the best of my ability (because that’s what God wants and because my students need me to), just as Robert will continue on with his. Once our vision becomes more clear, more planning will be needed, and I’ll have to take a step back and away from the comfort and security of a job I know, and I’ll have to operate on faith. But one thing I’ve learned from reading Quitter by Jon Acuff is that we’ll need a bit more developed towards our goal before I can “quit my day job.”
The only way this is truly going to work is to put God first in all of this and trust that He will provide the correct vision, and set us on the path heading the right direction.