Independent? No. A math teacher? No. CEO of a non-profit? Ha! No way.
But…suddenly, I’m a math teacher.
But I hated math. I graduated high school with a 3.96 GPA all because I couldn’t get a perfect A in math. That GPA might seem deceiving though, because I certainly wasn’t the smartest kid. Actually, my brother Justin would drive me crazy. He was 2 years younger but one grade behind me, and he was brilliant. He wouldn’t study, wouldn’t do his homework, and would drive his teachers crazy. He could ace tests, but his grade never showed that because he never turned in his work. I, however, had to study for hours and hours to get a high score on a test. You could say I enjoyed school. Okay, I loved school. Of course there were times where I had a love-hate relationship with learning, (especially math—I mean, seriously, when have I ever used MOST of what I learned in high school math?!) but overall, my high school experience was one of the best times of my life. It’s not surprising then that I chose to pursue a degree in education when I went to UW-L for college.
I was an English teacher. But now I’m a math teacher. And a science teacher. And a history teacher. And still an English teacher. And…
I homeschool two high school girls, and I would’ve never guessed I would say these following words: I love math! Having to relearn all this content actually excites me! It’s a great challenge and I really enjoy it. I realized that math isn’t about content that I’ll never have to use, but it’s about critical thinking skills, problem solving, and so many other important life skills we need. One of the girls recently told her counselor, “I really love math. It’s my favorite subject. And I love my math teacher.” (As if she has other teachers for other subjects. I’m her only teacher. I guess she has to love me. Lol.) But I couldn’t help but smile hearing second-hand that she enjoys math with someone who only recently has discovered its thrill.
Suddenly, I’m in front of a room full of a hundred people, ready to give a presentation. My heart races and my stomach threatens to reveal itself to the audience, but I love this. I enjoy giving speeches and inspiring others.
But I flunked pre-school because I refused to speak. Yep, that’s right. My teachers held me back because as they told my mom, “We don’t even know if she can talk!” To which my mom responded, “What? She won’t stop talking at home!” Even as I grew up, I was intensely shy. I hated being singled-out, raising my hand in class, and especially standing in front of the room to talk. Who would’ve thought that the pre-school failure would end up being a teacher or running a non-profit—speaking or giving presentations as a joy of her job?
Only God. It’s just like God, isn’t it? To take the unlikely, take the least and surprise us all. I would’ve never chose this life I have if it had been presented to me, all boxed up and bow-tied. But now that I have it, I could never choose anything else! I love this life of missions. I’ve experienced God in the most insurmountable ways. I’ve tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord in the least likely of places. And now all I want is to share it with as many people as possible!
Will you help me share it?
I used to complain about my teacher salary. One time, when I was at the doctor’s office, I brought my students’ papers along with me. When the doctor came in and saw me correcting papers, he laughed out loud. “You know,” he said, “There are only two professions I ever see bring their work into the doctor’s office. Teachers and lawyers.” It’s too bad the pay scale isn’t in that order, too.
But, now? Woowee! To have that teacher salary again would be AHMAZING. They say you don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone. I must admit, I didn’t appreciate my salary until I gave it up. But those meek digits look pretty mighty now.
The missionary salary I need to live off for the next year is half of what I used to make. But the thing about missionary salaries is we have to raise it. I’m sure you don’t like it as much as I do. I really hate having to continually ask people for financial support. We’re taught to build our American Dream, work for our futures, be independent. I’d rather do that. (And I’m trying to by writing a book. Hopefully to be published by the end of the year!) But the truth is, the life of a missionary is nothing but dependent. Some people see me as a very independent woman. I don’t know people’s perceptions of me, but seriously, I am the least independent person. I am solely dependent on God. And because I sold myself out to the mission of the Kingdom, that means I need to depend on His people. Isn’t that ironic? That missionaries seem to be these crazy, independent people doing bold things, but in reality we are meek, dependent, ordinary people. That’s just like God, isn’t it?
So, as the leader of an army is dependent upon the warriors that stand behind him in order to achieve victory, I, too, am dependent on you to join this army of finances, prayer, and love—that I may continue to march onto the battlefields to which God has called me, to minister to the brokenhearted and those fallen and forgotten in the heat of battle.
Will you join me? Please consider supporting me monthly ($20, $30, $40 or any amount) for the next year. Or you can also give a one-time donation ($100, $300, $500, or any amount on your heart). You can also support me through prayer commitments or sending letters or packages. Your prayers change things. Seriously. It’s even better than a salary. Please see the images below for more information. Please contact me if you are willing to support me.
Who knows what else God might use in my past to surprise us in the future.