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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Turtle on a Fencepost-Revised

  I first read this phrase in the devotional by Charles R. Swindoll, entitled The Finishing Touch.  He, in turn, was quoting a Presbyterian pastor by the name of Dr. Robert Lamont.  In his youth, Dr. Lamont had seen the strange sight of a turtle being suspended on a fence-post.  No doubt, this was the work of a prankster and not that of the turtle itself.  He applied this idea to himself as well: “Where I am right now is not the result of my efforts; only God can be credited for lifting me to this place for His glory.”
   This is the story of my career path.  I got my first teaching job at a brand new school even though I was late for the interview.  There were a lot of unanswered questions about this school and how I would teach four grades in one room, but I felt led to accept the job.  Less than one month in, I was asked to become the principal at the age of 23.  This was nothing that I planned, but I continued on for three years.
   I was privileged to stay home with my children for eleven years and did not know exactly how I would re-enter the teaching world.
   Then I became a Kindergarten teacher in the most unexpected way. Kindergarten would have been the last grade level that I would have chosen for myself. Yet on the Friday before the Labor Day weekend in 2008, I received a phone call from the principal of a local school asking me to consider taking a 40% position in Junior Kindergarten, starting in a few days.  Honestly, I did not understand why he would call and offer this position to me other than desperation and my resume being on file.  I had no experience in teaching students this young, and I styled myself as an upper elementary teacher.  He asked me to think and pray about it and return his call with an answer in a few hours.
   I have always had a strong sense of vocation, being called to do particular things at particular times in my life.  During my prayer time, this is what came to my mind once again.  This phone call was none other than a call to surrender my plans to God’s plans.  I trusted that He would equip me since I did not consider myself at all prepared for this great adventure with four year olds.
   When there was an internal opening for vice principal of school management at my school, I didn't intend to apply until a colleague encouraged me to do so.
   In June I embarked on a journey to earn my Masters of Education from a small Christian college in Iowa, mostly through online courses.  When I arrived on the campus earlier this week and saw its buildings and considered its history, I again felt like a turtle on a fence-post.  People I've never met sacrificed, prayed and had the vision to begin this school, and I am blessed to reap the benefits.
   But even more than my career path, I feel like a turtle when I think about my humble beginnings as a simple farm girl.  God has enabled me to study at some of the best schools in Canada, teach in small and large Christian schools in Ontario, have articles published, become married to a wonderful man, become a mother to three gifted children, and so much more.
   I am a turtle on a fence-post.

1 comment:

  1. A turtle is never alone when God's hands are doing the tending - lifting, moving, directing, comforting - praise God for the journeys he has taken us turtles on, right?