God in the Rearview Mirror

Monday, May 23, 2016
It was the best job I’d ever had. I had enjoyed the last year so much! My class of 21 first and second grade students at the private Christian school was what I thought my goal was. I thought I had achieved the best a Christian teacher could ask for! And apparently the administration thought I was a pretty good one for the job because at the end of the year, they not only renewed my contract, they gave me a raise! The next school year came and I was even more ready this time! Since it was a combined classroom, I already knew half the students and boy was I prepared! Until Friday on the very first week of school when I was called into the office at noon at told I was hired! WHAT?!? I was shocked, confused, horrified, devastated. I pleaded for another chance (not even sure what I had done wrong or what I could change) but the administrator refused to budge. The board had met on Tuesday and voted I would lose my job. Reasons given were: Not using the curriculum correctly (in the first 2 days of school?), and not being “unified” with the staff and administration (huh?). So much for a dream job! Oh the doubts and questions that came. How could I have done enough in two days of school to lose my job? With the help of others connected to the school I put together the pieces and realized it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with money. With a master’s degree I was the highest paid of the teachers hired the year before. A new teacher wasn’t hired, instead one of the two preschool teachers was forced to either quit or move up to my classroom and teach and all the preschool students were shoved into one classroom. But what on earth was God doing? Why did this have to happen? I knew I would never get a job that good again. My days of teaching from a Biblical perspective were over. I’d probably have to go back to being a para-professional in public school again.
Those were my Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday thoughts.
By Tuesday everything exploded. Parents arrived after Labor Day to drop off their students and found their children’s teacher gone with no explanation. Getting no answers from the school, they frantically called me wanting to know what was going on. I explained I had been fired and cited the excuses I had been given – excuses that made no sense to the parents (or me). Upset, one of the parents blurted out, “I wish we could just pay you to teach our kids!”. Hmm… actually… that IS legal in Nebraska. All of a sudden I had another classroom, one with six students – in my own home! Not only could I teach from a Biblical perspective, I could even teach using differentiated instruction the way I had been taught! No restrictions on curriculum, no rules about keeping students at a certain pace. I could teach each and every kid exactly what they needed to learn, when they were ready to learn it and in a way that worked for them! And I could make the Biblical education a huge focus! Soon we were learning to rollerblade in my driveway or taking bike rides to the ice-cream shop as a reward for good behavior or laying under a table painting like Michelangelo! We visited the local library once a week. And students from unchurched homes were memorizing whole passages of Scripture, identifying a summary of all 66 books of the Bible, attending Awana, getting exposure to popular Christian children’s music and reading Christian literature! Our “reading instruction center” was my couch. No more getting up early to make a 30-45 minute trip. No more hauling heavy teacher guide textbooks back and forth every day.

Why this long story on a blog that is supposed to be book reviews?

Because that’s what this book is about. Not my story specifically, but about looking back and seeing “God in the Rearview Mirror”. Losing my job was the worst thing that could have happened to my career… for 4 days. Then it became the absolute best thing that could happen to my career. I can look back and see how God paved the way for an incredible experience for me. What I thought was going to ruin my life actually enriched it and made it more wonderful than I could have imagined! If I continued the story, you could see how that one horrid moment has continued to lead to some amazing experiences.
LaVila Henry has experienced that too. Many a time. She shares in her book how over and over again in her life, things don’t make sense at a certain moment. Sometimes they are merely confusing. Sometimes they are frustrating. Sometimes they seem downright horrible or disastrous. Yet, when she looks back in the “rearview mirror” she can see how God was at work, using the situations to accomplish His will!
Not every event in our life leads to us getting to see how God is working in the midst of it. Some things we may never know until Heaven. And sometimes, the results of sin rear their ugly head and life-altering tragedies happen. We don’t always get to look back in a rearview mirror and see how bad led to good. But those times we can help strengthen our faith and remind us that even in the most horrific of situations, God is still in control. He’s still good and is still completing the work He began in us.

Reading God in the Rearview Mirror is encouraging as you read stories of LaVila Henry’s life. Even more encouraging is when it inspires you to look in your rearview mirror and see examples of what God has done in your own life.

Thanks to my friend Katie for getting me a copy of her aunt’s book!


Post a Comment

Total Pageviews