It has been such a crazy year for me. I told you I had my second son, and when I was on maternity leave, we had workers in and out of our house for different maintenance items (roof, air conditioner, punctured pipe from the roof repair which left us with a hole in our ceiling and no heat for four days…) But it’s all over now, and things are slowly getting back to a new normal.
This post isn’t about me, though. It’s about my ace, my sister, and best friend from birth, Grace. Oh my gosh…your name is Hope? And your sister is Grace? Yes it is. And no, we don’t have another sister named Charity. Yes, my mom’s name is also a virtue because we’re cool like that. LOL. I digress…?
So back to Grace. She moved to Missouri about three years ago, but she wanted to come on back home because the small town life wasn’t kicking it anymore. ? As she put it, “It served its purpose.”
When Grace is determined, she’s all in. This girl turned in her resignation, sold her furniture, and told everyone and their momma that she’ll be coming back to Texas in summer 2017. But there was only one catch—she didn’t have a job yet. ?
Most people would find a job and then proceed to move. Not my sister. She trusts that God is faithful and will provide for her just like he has always done in the past. ? (It also helps that she has a few people to crash with if her job prospects weren’t going well…HA!)
Brace yourself for an emotional rollercoaster of what walking by faith looks like. ?
(Caution: Walking by faith does not mean doing whatever the heck you want in life and hoping God will *in my Tim Gunn voice* make it work. It means seeking God, knowing what He has asked you to do, and taking steps to do it, even when things don’t seem like they’ll logically work out. ?)
As I was saying, Grace knew she was moving to Texas this summer. She put in job applications since the beginning of 2017 with no bites; but the summer was still young, and summers are all about filling empty teaching spots. Nevertheless, she was going to stay at my house until something came through. ?
She told me that she was going to do a practice drive to Texas and get most of her things to my house. The weekend she was going to leave, a school district called her for an interview. She told the principal that she was coincidentally coming down that Monday and could interview on Wednesday. ?
That’s awesome! I mean…she likes teaching U.S. history, and taking the job would mean that she would have to teach the dreaded snoozefest that is Texas history, but it’s a job, right? ?
She made it to my house Monday afternoon. By the time I got off from work, two other schools had called her for an interview. ?
What???!!! Three interviews? Now she had to pick from middle school Texas history (the first interview), high school geography (the second interview), and middle school U.S. history (the third interview).
Like anyone with three interviews lined up within days, Grace was starting to feel herself a little. So much so that she was going to call the third job position to inform the people that she couldn’t make it to yet another Wednesday interview because she was booked to capacity with other interviews. ?
“Well, can you do it on Thursday?” they responded. She obliged.
The first interviewers asked her to answer a questionnaire and prepare a lesson plan. Grace worked all day doing it. She didn’t care for Texas history, but the pay was going to be the highest. On Tuesday, she made the finishing touches to her plan, I did her hair, and we got ready to go to bed. ?
“What time is your interview tomorrow?” I asked her before turning in. “Noon,” she said. “Noon? I thought it was earlier than that. Okay then. Good night.” ?
I get a phone call at work around 9:20 a.m.
“Hope, I missed my interview.”
I promise you my heart had to have stopped. Call me dramatic, but when something happens to my loved ones, it happens to me; and I feel what they feel. ?
“Grace…What?? How? Huh? I mean…Seriously?”
“*Sigh* It was supposed to be at 9 a.m. I was in the shower, and I get out and see a missed call. I read the voicemail transcript, and it said that they have been waiting for me for 13 minutes.”
“Oh my crap. Seriously? Did you call back and tell them you thought it was noon?”
“Girl…my stupid voicemail transcript said that the person calling was Mrs. Warner, so I call the number right back. Her secretary picks up, and I ask for Mrs. Warner. She tells me, ‘Ummm…it’s Mrs. Wagnu.’ and forwards me to her line. The principal was all abrupt saying she’s usually not flexible, but asked if I can come at 10 a.m. I said no because it’ll take 50 minutes, and that’s kind of how we left it.” ?
There was so much to dissect in this conversation. First, Grace completely screwed up the time of that interview. I admit she’s not a great multitasker, but she would usually be on it if a job were on the line. Second, she butchered the principal’s name, and she always does research about an organization before interviewing. The principal’s name would have been a no-brainer. Third, she is horrible with direction. Where the school district was is about 20 minutes away from my house, not 50. I immediately knew she got her locations mixed up.
What a lovely hump day so far, right? ?
I knew what I had to do. I took an early lunch and got my butt home to see her. I knew she’d be frazzled and frustrated with herself, so I needed to help her shake it off for her next interview at 4 p.m. ?
It definitely was a rough morning, but when I gave her some facts about the school she would have been interviewing to teach in, she started to realize it probably wasn’t the best fit. Maybe the higher pay may have blinded her decision, and God had to take some extra measures to block that opportunity. ?
Either way, on to interview number two.
When Grace returned from her second interview of the day, she was in much better spirits. The school was an academy, diverse, and easy going. She’s used to teaching middle school, but high school geography could be a new venture, she thought. ?
“They were way chill. I think they mistook me for someone else in the beginning, and they didn’t have copies of my résumé. But after every one of my answers, they would tell me how great the response was. I think I nailed it. They said they’ll call me tomorrow (Thursday) to give me an answer because they basically have three history positions to fill.”
It looked like everything was turning up Grace. ? I’m sure her confidence went back off the richter scale, and she may have even considered skipping the Thursday interview to head back to Missouri early. But I’m no mind reader…
After making sure she double and triple-checked the time of the interview, I advised her to leave two hours before time because rush hour traffic is no joke.
I called Grace Thursday morning right before her interview to give her encouragement and let her know that I was praying for her. ? I told her to call me when she was out to let me know how it went.
“Hello? Grace? How’d it go?”
“It was really cool. I didn’t know the assistant principal was this real cool lady I used to go to church with. So when she saw me, she greeted me and let me know how she saw my name as a candidate and told them that they needed to interview me. Everything went well. They’re real flexible, I’d be teaching my same subject, and I’d also be department head.”
“So…you felt good about it?”
“Oh yeah…real chill and everybody was so nice and collaborative.”
“Good! We’ll talk more later, but I’m glad everything went well. And now we wait…”
(10 minutes later ?)
“Hope, the school I just left called offering me the job.”
“WHAT??? What did you say?”
“I told them I would call them right back with an answer.”
“So, what are you going to do?”
“I should take it, right? That’s the only offer I have. Plus, they were really cool. And I’ve been teaching U.S. history, so there’s no learning curve.”
“So you’re over that high school? What if they call with an offer too?”
“They’re good, but these people have been accommodating me since the beginning, and I felt really good about them. I’m calling them back right now to accept the offer.”
And that’s how God works, folks. ? The job interview that Grace initially turned down was the one that worked out for her good. You can’t tell me there’s not a message in that. ?
Everything that glitters isn’t gold. ✨ It might look like a good opportunity, but it’s not for you. It might sound like a good opportunity, but it’s all smoke and mirrors. (By the way, that “great” high school interview didn’t call back yet. ?)
It’s not until Grace went to the interview that she knew that the assistant principal was a past friend. She had to go to the interview to see that the work culture was pleasant and that teamwork was embedded into the school’s DNA. ?
Walk by faith. God knows what He’s doing. Trust His process, and you’ll get the desired result. ?
Now I can fully laugh at the hot mess that was the first interview. Like…what? You inputted the interview time wrong and trusted your voicemail transcript for the principal’s name? That’s two strikes before even walking through the door, boo. ?
And look at God… now I have a new traveling and free babysitter. Welcome back to Texas, Grace! ?