Did I finish the race?

Did I finish the race?I decided to start blogging because I felt like I needed some kind of creative outlet in my life. Blogging has been in the back of my mind for a few years now but during the last few months of my life, I’ve been searching for something. The main focus of my “quest” was to develop a closer relationship with God and experience that “shift” that I hear about in church all the time. After constant prayer and journaling, I have been experiencing that shift that I was looking for, but sometimes only in spurts. Success and failure back and forth, over and over again. But there was one thing that remained consistent. Each and every time that I could feel the Lord moving in my spirit or hear Him speaking to me, His words to me were the same. “Don’t question me. Trust me.”

Let me rewind a bit and explain what has been going on in my life recently. Last May I graduated from college. College was one of the best experiences of my life. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education. I moved back home for a few months and began applying for jobs AND planning my wedding. (After 5 great years with my boyfriend, he proposed and we had set that date for December 7th!)

My dream job was to be a choir director at a high school. Where I live, employment as a teacher is pretty competitive especially in my field. There are numerous english, math, science, and history teachers in every school but normally only one choir teacher. I knew I had my work cut out for me and was prepared to start at the bottom and eventually (I was guessing in about 5-6 years) land my dream job. I was okay with that plan. I mean, I was young, fresh out of college with no teaching experience.

The Lord had big plans for me and that became a reality when I got my first teaching job- a high school choir director at one of the best schools in our area. What??? I still don’t believe it sometimes. Anyways…. I was ecstatic! I just couldn’t believe that I could be so blessed. School began in August and after the first week of school, my fiancé and I moved into our first apartment together. We thought it might be a little easier for us to make “the big move” before the school year was in full swing since we would be getting married in the middle of the school year.

The wedding plans were falling into place and I was already a teacher. Then BOOM!!! It hit me- my life had totally changed. I’m a grown up now. I had a new home and lived with my fiancé and all of a sudden had a full blown career. All good things really, I couldn’t have asked for a better set up. But how strange…. “How do I do this?” That was the question that was constantly running through my mind every day. Am I really old enough to do these things? Paying bills and budgeting (not mine but both of our finances), buying groceries and having food prepared for every meal, planning a wedding and teaching high school students?? Really? When did this all happen? I have no idea what I’m doing half the time. (the previous sentence is in present tense because it’s still relevant 🙂 ) It was a mixture of excitement, adventure and confusion.

My husband and I were married in December and it was the most beautiful wedding I could have dreamed of. The day was perfect from start to finish. Travis and I (that’s his name by the way) had been together for nearly 5 years. I knew that we both loved each other A LOT. After having lived together for a few months already, I didn’t think anything would really change between us after the wedding. Other than my last name of course… which has been a really fun adjustment! However, when I saw him for the first time on the day of our wedding… something had already changed. We both knew it too. It was this overwhelming feeling of love and peace. I didn’t really think I could love him anymore than I already did (that sounds kind of weird but you know what I mean) and on that day I did! It was like a “re-assurance” of our commitment. What a lovely thing marriage is!

Anyways… I keep getting off subject. Here I am now: a committed partner to another human being. We could finally start our lives together as the Scates family. I am a wife and a high school teacher- just what I always wanted.

The “searching for something” comes into play here. While growing up, my mother would tell me that one of her jobs is to help me reach the “finish line.” She’s a big fan of the Tour De France and she would make jokes about her and the rest of my family being my team or pit crew that would help me to reach the finish line of the race. Any time there is a bump in the road or if I fell off my bike, they were there to help me back on and fix my bike so that I could reach the finish line. Everything I’ve completed in life was a stepping stone to the finish line: High school, college, marriage and a career. The race and the finish line. Well… it’s here. All of it. Now that I’m here, sometimes I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m not in the race; I’ve finished it. I’m in a new race maybe? I haven’t figured that part out yet. I’ve been searching for answers. “How do I do this new life? Am I doing this right? Am I a good wife? Am I a good teacher? Is teaching always going to be this hard? Did I finish the race?”

I have been a follower of God for as long as I can remember. Recently, I have been relentlessly seeking God in all aspects of my life. I have been taking my prayers to a different level and trying to keep my focus on Him at all times. Sometimes my focus gets off a little but then when I return, He’s there. I tend to be a bit of a control freak and have been learning to let go and let God take care of these things. I am learning to have faith and not constantly worry about things anymore. I’m not gonna lie… being a first year teacher is HARD. But, as much as I constantly question it, I think this actually is where I am supposed to be.

This is a journey that I’m sure a lot of young women have experienced. Quarter-life crisis?  Quarter-life adventure! That’s better. I don’t have it all figured out just yet (and sometimes that drives me nuts!) but I’m learning. Maybe that’s the beauty of it.

“Don’t question me. Trust me.”

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