Oh, What a Ride it has been

I am now half way through my fourth year of teaching and well…. so much has happened! Let’s just say it’s been a little bit of a crazy ride! I am just now feeling as I can sit down, gather thoughts and well if you are interested bring you up to date. So where else to start than the beginning.

Back in August, I was so excited to begin my fourth year of teaching in the village. I had prepared my classroom and was ready to conquer 2nd grade with the kids I had taught since they were just tiny Kinders. I was excited and ready to conquer the challenges of teaching a grade I had never taught before. However, due to unforeseen circumstances and a little nudge from the big man upstairs, I felt my only option was to leave a beautiful place. I had to leave my home of the past three years. A place where I had made connections with people and don’t even get me started about God’s beautiful country out there. So in a weeks’ time I had to pack up my two-story apartment, have a sale, and ship all my totes and boxes to town. I had to leave many things behind but the thing that hurt me the most was leaving “my family”. This village had shown me compassion since I had walked off that plane as a frightened, unsure 22-year-old. I immediately fell in love with Mountain Village and it’s culture and now a piece of my heart will reside there.

For a while after leaving the village, I really struggled. I would ask myself “did I make the right decision?” I would get mad at myself for making the choice (probably the hardest choice I’ve had to make thus far). So here I was jobless, feeling worthless, depressed and just emotional and physically tired. One day in my state of despair, I opened my bible and found one of my most favorite passages now:

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Ecclesiastes 1: Everything is meaningless really got me thinking… Being without a job is scary, moving is scary, finding something new is scary… I keep stressing about finding job, a car, my own place to live…But in the grand scheme of things where I live, what I do, and where I work is meaningless unless I’m doing it in Christ… Meaning comes from Christ… If you aren’t doing it in Christ it doesn’t mean jack squat.. Thanks Solomon for sharing some advice “meaningless, meaningless, utterly meaningless, everything is meaningless…” In Christ alone is where meaning is found.

I’m not saying this passage just solved all my problems but it truly inspired me. It helped me and encourage me to get through these small tribulations in life while I tried to decide  what to do next. Should I go back to Missouri and give up the “Alaskan Dream” because that would be easier or should I stay here and try. After talking to family and friends and praying ALOT the answer became evident that I should stay here in Alaska. I began September subbing a couple of days in the Anchorage School District. Then one day I received a call unexpectedly to interview for a 3rd grade position. I wasn’t super thrilled about a third grade position to begin with but I wanted a teaching job, so I interviewed. A few days later I found out I had gotten the job with a new stipulation I would be teaching kindergarten. I was thrilled. I immediately called my family and friends that had been so encouraging. Among those called was my grandmother who I had been in contact with often after I had left the village. She says “Courtney I knew you would get the job. I wasn’t worried.”  Of course I giggled at her when she said this because she always “knew” everything. But she was right if we have a relationship with Christ we should be confident in him and know that he will provide. And well, HE has provided so much for me in the last 7 months.

After about 2 months into my new job my grandma found out she had cancer and was put on hospice. It was so close to Thanksgiving break so I took off a few days so I could go home and visit her one last time, unfortunately she didn’t make it until I came home. I took it really hard but I’m once again thankful for the way God works. If I had still been in the village it would have been even more difficult and stressful to make it all the way back to Missouri.

Through all of this God had provided me with an amazing support system that really helped me get through this difficult time. While no one enjoys trials and tribulations, the Lord has shown me that he truly works in mysterious ways. When we allow HIM to help, He will provide what we need when we need it. Like Shannon L. Alder says “after every storm is a rainbow”and I truly believe that.

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