I’ve announced that I’ve stopped teaching and moved to photography several times over the past few months, but I’ve never really shared my spiritual journey that has gotten me to this point. If you’re offended by religion or just not interested in reading about it, feel free to stop reading. If you continue to read, I hope what I have to say is worth your time and can help you some way in your own journey.
My Spiritual Journey
I started teaching and coaching right out of college. My first year was a rough one, and honestly, I thought about getting out of teaching that year. I managed to survive and things did get better, but it was never to the point where I really loved what I was doing. I had some great kids and great classes, but there were still those kids that gave me headaches. Now, I would never say anything bad about teaching because I truly believe it’s one of the noblest and most important jobs out there, but I really wasn’t sure if it was for me. There are certain people that seem to be genetically made to be teachers, and I just didn’t feel like I was one of them.
After about 3 years of teaching I started looking into other options. One option was to go abroad and teach in a country where kids respected teachers and respected education. Besides that, I was looking into other jobs, mainly photography. I continued to build my photography business and survive teaching. Toward the end of my fifth year of teaching, something strange happened. I don’t remember the exact situation, but I remember God telling me distinctly that in 5 years there would be a change for the better. I didn’t know what the change was, but the time was definitely clear.
I continued teaching each year with the hope of God’s promise pushing me through. I often thought about quitting, but I knew I needed to last those 5 years. There were some good years and some really bad years, but I just kept going.
The 5th year finally came around and some strange things started to kind of make themselves clear to me. One, I was not happy with what I was teaching. I was teaching two classes where I didn’t really teach, mainly babysat, and I didn’t really care about the subject matter. Mix that with some really challenging students, and you have a rough year. From this, I started to feel that maybe the change was getting out of teaching. Something else strange happened, though, that made me confused again. I found out that a position would be opening up at the high school after that year, a photography position, one perfect for me. That made me think maybe that was the big change.
The year went on and I kept finding myself being pulled between the two options of wanting the high school job and quitting and becoming a photographer. I kept praying every day for guidance and some kind of sign for all of it. Another strange thing then happened. A father of a bride that I had shot her wedding wrote a book, and I started reading it. A lot of the things in it aligned with what I was going through and made me feel that photography was my future. It was at that point that the real struggle showed up. I felt like I knew God’s will, but would I be able to follow it? Would I be able to pass up the dream teaching job? Could I actually say no to it? Could I skip out on the for sure paycheck which my wife loves or trust God to provide for me on a daily basis? Every day I struggled with that conflict. At one point, I finally told God that if he wanted me to do photography, then I wanted him to close the door on the high school job.
School got out and I kept waiting for some news about the high school job. They were supposed to post the opening soon, and then I would apply for it. I had talked to several key people about the position and they were backing me for it. I was on vacation, and I decided to email the principal about the position. That’s when it happened. He told me the position had already been filled by someone inside the school. I was upset but not to the point that you might think. I actually felt a kind of peace because now my future was clear and there was no way I could avoid God’s call. The door had been shut.
Since all of this happened, I have been working my butt off trying to make things work. God is still teaching me and changing me through this process. He’s teaching me to calm down, to trust Him, to be patient. I’m learning and seeing things that I never would have seen if I had gotten that high school job. It’s truly an interesting life when you have to trust God to provide, and He has. Things have started to open up, and opportunities have magically appeared. The most interesting thing that has happened since was at church. At the end, a woman approached us and told us that God had told her to tell us that things were going to grow and prosper. This could of course been referring to my pregnant wife, but I really believe it was God trying to reassure me.
Well, this is my spiritual journey I’ve been on the past 5 years. I know it was a long post. I don’t often talk about religion, but I felt that my story needed to be shared. I truly believe there it someone out there that needs to read this today and will get something from it. Check out the song Sparrows by Jason Gray. It really hits what I’m going through. Remember God loves us, and He has the power to take care of everything. May God bless you all!