God Story ~ Shanna Klutts
I am an ongoing God story. I can look back and point to so many instances in my life where He has taken me and walked me through various storms in my life. The story I am sharing today was a hard lesson for me to learn. I am a control freak. I like to have things planned down to the minute. If things do not go according to plan, then I begin to have a meltdown. This is my God story of letting go of that and letting God.
A few years ago, I was living in a small town and teaching middle school writing. I loved my job, loved the kids, but the administration and the other teachers were oppressive. They continually badgered me about my methods and were emphatic that reading had no place in a writing classroom. My principal at the time even told me that I needed to lower my expectations for these particular kids because my expectations were unattainable. I knew I was in the wrong place.
My husband got a job in Midland, TX as a police officer, and we started making the transition to Midland. I had to stay in our small town until my contract ended, but I was already applying at schools in Midland. It was February. Oh, and did I mention I was also pregnant?
In April, Midland ISD hosted a job fair that I attended. I handed my resume out to every single principal from elementary to high school. I even had three interviews that day – two for a high school position and one for an 8th grade classroom. I was met with silence when I got back to our small town. No one called me back.
That night, I broke down and cried. I was an emotional wreck. We couldn’t afford to live in the “big” city of Midland if I wasn’t supplying a paycheck. We had a baby on the way with two others at home (2 and 5), our first child that would not be covered by the military. We also had a house payment as well as an apartment payment until we could get our house sold. My husband was driving back and forth and gas was outrageous. So, yes, I was a little overwhelmed to say the least. I prayed fervently that night, and every night until we made the big move to Midland, and still no answer.
By the end of July, I had started to really get antsy. It had been 3 months of doors closing on job opportunities, 3 months of people telling me that the position had already been filled, of me not being qualified, of feeling incompetent at what I love to do. But still, I hung on to my belief that God was just waiting for the perfect job to come open.
August 7, 2010. I had an interview for a bilingual coach position. I had no business being there. I had no credentials for this position, but I knew that if I just got my foot in the door, if I could just talk to someone from HR, then I would be able to find a job somewhere. It was also a mere 2 and a half weeks from school starting. I was beginning to question everything. Sitting outside of the HR office and speaking with the other candidates, I knew I had absolutely no chance at all. The other candidates were very qualified and confident. I was a desperate wreck.
When they called my name, I said a quick prayer. I didn’t know if they would be welcoming or hostile. I knew that I was wasting their time, but I just had a feeling that if they talked to me, then something would happen.
Sitting across from me were about 7 women and one man, all Hispanic, all expecting someone with the credentials for this job. I handed out my resume and they silently looked over it. They discussed my teaching methods and what I offered for those students who are classified as ESL. Then the head of bilingual for the district said the words I was dreading: “You really don’t have any experience in bilingual, do you?” I replied that I did not. “Then why did you decide to apply for this job?” I felt crushed. I finally told them that I just wanted the opportunity to get my foot in the door, that I wanted them to put a face with a name and not just meet me on paper, that I felt I was a good fit for Midland ISD. I also told them about the experiences I had endured so far while trying to get a job. The room was silent. I felt fear rising in my throat, knowing that I would be asked to leave any second. I could feel the chill in the air from the women.
Then the man cleared his throat. “Let’s talk about what you are qualified for.” He then revealed that he was a principal at a school with the highest population of bilinguals in Midland. He was also looking for someone to teach 5th grade. He and I had a wonderful interview for that position right there with those 7 women looking on. I gave him my number and he said he would call me soon.
I left there with only the tiniest of hopes. Would he call me back? The entire way home, I had a conversation with God. I poured out my heart. I reminded Him that it was August and if anything should happen, it had to happen now. I gave it all over to Him. I vowed I wasn’t going to worry and that I knew He had this.
I had just gotten home, propped my feet up on the coffee table, and settled down for a rest when the phone rang. It was the principal from the interview. He offered me the job over the telephone and that afternoon I had signed a contract.
I am still at that school with the same principal who took a chance on me. I work with some of the best kids in the world and hope that I am daily showing the love of Jesus to them in the way that I act and the way that I treat them. I am in an environment where I don’t have to worry about speaking up about my faith. We have prayer meetings at school, and we talk about our faith openly with one another.
God had been preparing me for that moment where I would totally rely on Him that summer. He had something much better than I had planned in mind if only I would let go of my worry and of the control that I wanted over the situation. I was just looking for a place to work, a place where I could collect a paycheck so we could get by. I never imagined actually falling in love with my job and the people I worked with. I had never had that experience.
Ephesians 3:20 says: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us…” He certainly did that.
When we turn over everything to Him, all our worry, our burdens, our very livelihood, He allows amazing things to happen. It will be more than you could ever imagine, more than you possibly deserve, and far and away above what you needed.