“I hate this place! I will not finish this year at this school! I understand exactly what you mean girl. The boss is crazy and I am not feeling this.”
This is the conversation that I found myself having in 2011. I learned a lot about myself this year. I learned that I was an emotional creature. I let my emotions guide my decisions sometimes (well, all the time). Let me give you an example. I have written in previous posts that I was thankful for being back in the classroom. From August to November I had the worst experience as a teacher that I have had in eight years. The students walked in and I thought, “I can control these kids because they are just going to do what I say.” I figured it didn’t matter what it took because the kids were going to complete my work because I said so. Guess what happened? I was firm and they didn’t care. If I raised my voice they raised their voice. There were days I would assign work and less than half the class wouldn’t even attempt to try it. I know you are wondering how this makes me emotional. Well I was crying every day, I was losing my hair, of course I was gaining weight again and I was angry all the time. Through these emotions I came to the conclusion that I was leaving that school. I spoke to some of my spiritual family and told them my plans and they had my back. I made up my mind that I would abandon the same kids that every other teacher has left. I went on an interview and what I thought was my way out was really a message from God.
I talked to the interviewer and she questioned me about lesson planning, teaching, behavior management and my passion for kids. As I spoke to her I heard myself saying I have met students that didn’t want to learn. It has never been this hard to teach kids. I need structure in my life and I just really hate my place of employment. I know you are thinking, “Keviyona, you have lost your mind!” No! I had not lost my mind but I had heard God’s voice. God spoke to me and said, “What happened to you trusting me? What happened to you staying in the race? What happened to you staying in your season of preparation?” I pondered and said I have always thought I was walking into my season. The more I consulted God, the more insight I obtained. I realized that every day of our lives is a season. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV)
Let’s look at seasons in nature to get a general idea of how seasons work. In nature, things come forth, grow and fulfill their purpose and die. Notice that winter and spring are times of preparation. In the winter the ground gets very cold or freezes, which kills germs or bacteria that could be harmful to crops. Plants that have died during the previous season decay and help replenish nourishment to the soil. Then, as the late winter and early spring comes, the soil is plowed and made ready, seeds are planted, nurtured and grow…Then in summer and fall, crops mature and are harvested. The farmers then sell the crops for money and use the money to support their families and enjoy the good things of life. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. (Ecclesiastes 3: 2-3 KJV)
I was in my season of winter. God was trying to kill my old way of dealing with issues. I was used to moaning and complaining to the people that love me and not saying anything to the people that were inflicting the pain. God was killing everything that I thought I had done on my own as a teacher. Yes, I am guilty; I had a spirit of arrogance on me as a teacher because I was labeled as “one of the best in the school.” God had to humble me and make me realize that it doesn’t matter how many degrees I have or how well I know instruction, I need to depend on Him for everything. Instead of God letting me run away from my job He made me face opposition head on. He told me to stay in my season!
By staying in my season of winter and not running to a new school, (this doesn’t mean that I won’t leave when the timing is right) I have seen a shift in the atmosphere. I’ve seen kids that would not do it at first start to work for me. I have seen students eager to learn. I’ve seen students that are ecstatic because someone really believes in them. I have seen students tell the trouble makers “shut up so Mrs. Ray can teach me something.” I am at the beginning of my summer where there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can see the flowers blooming. I can see my growth and my student’s growth. Most important, I can see God on my job. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)
Had I not stayed in my seasons of winter and spring, I would not have realized that God was preparing me for the next season in my life. I wouldn’t have realized that I had more to learn even though I am a “vet” in the teaching profession. God had to humble me as a teacher and take me outside of my comfort zone in my winter season in order to prepare me for my summer and fall seasons, which bring leadership. I learned that there is not one season in my life but every season is a lesson that I have to learn in order to go to the next level. And we know that God causes everything to work togetherfor the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8: 28 NLT)
Thank You for allowing me to have seasons of preparation and seasons of harvest. I thank You God for teaching me that I must go through seasons in order to reap my harvest. I thank You for covering me with the blood and putting me back on the course and the plan that You have for my life when I stray. I thank You God for teaching me to stay in season! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Women of God, I EMPOWER you to stay in whatever season you are in. Remember that whereever you are in your life, that God is preparing you for greatness. God does not want you to change the course in the middle of the season, He wants you to endure to the end. I EMPOWER you to go through your season of preparation in winter and spring and reap your harvest in fall and winter. Stay in your season!
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Seasons Change
Mrs. Keviyona Ray is an ordained minister and co-pastor in training of The Christ For All People International Church. She is passionate about sharing the word of God with everyone she encounters. As a professional, Keviyona is a teacher for Chicago Public Schools. She loves her ministry of teaching and changing children’s lives. She is a devoted wife and mother of a wonderful daughter. Two of her favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 1: 5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” and Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”