Why I have not been writing...
It is not for lack of want or inspiration. I have had plenty of self-talks about sitting down at the keyboard.
It is because I have found joy in my professional vocation again. I've spent years praying and being patient, at least trying to be patient, waiting for God to reveal his plans for my career. I also prayed for the grace to recognize His plan. Turns out the wait was worth every single minute of stress and distress.
People tell you how good it is when you finally emerge from the desert to find the ocean at your feet. It is so hard not to lose hope when you are thirsty, hot and exhausted from the journey. You are so tempted to stop and say "I cannot go a step further. My feet hurt. My body aches and I am just downright tired of the whole mess."
It is here, in this moment, when you have to let go of all the discomfort, all the self-worth, and empty yourself so God can fill the void. When I finally accepted that I had to quit trying to control my career, this was the moment the job announcement I had been waiting for popped into my inbox.
Fast forward 6 months through wrapping up my previous position tasks, saying goodbye to my favorite colleagues, making notes for my replacements, restocking my library with textbooks, and I am in my new office in the Arkansas State University's College of Agriculture preparing to teach. It seems surreal to walk the halls as faculty at my alma mater. Twenty-two-year-old me never imagined her career beyond teaching in a high school ag building. She never imagined it would all lead back to this campus.
Last week, the Dean asked me how I was doing. As I considered my response, I realized and shared that I had no doubt I was right where I am supposed to be. When I do a mental review of all my career experiences, it is clear how every step, every opportunity, every choice, and every struggle prepared me to follow the path God intended.
I am a better teacher. I am a better academic advisor. I am a better career coach, counselor, and mentor than I would have been if I had attempted this career move 12 years ago, even just 4 years ago.
Nearing the end of my first semester at the university, I'm feeling settled and finding my footing with new responsibilities. I truly enjoy dissecting the act of teaching so I can help a new generation of agriculture teachers become skilled professionals. I've started flexing my atrophied research muscles, too.
I was born to be a teacher. I know now God just had to remind me of His gift so I would not waste it.
Going forward, I suspect I will have quite a few posts related to teaching, and it's a wonderful thing to write down.
The College of Ag had a Halloween costume and chili cookoff. I went as a director from The Chosen series and brought home the trophy for best chili. I passed Golf Cart school and got to drive the offical golf cart during the College of Ag day events at Saturday's football game. My trusted travel and walking companion, Skippy, demanded we take a selfie.