Dictionary.com defines the word “resign” in this way — “To give up an office or position, often formally; to submit, yield; relinquish.”
I resigned from my special education teaching position this week. It was ten years ago this summer that I was working hard to transfer my teaching license from Ohio to Pennsylvania and driving all over the confusing roads of greater Pittsburgh to apply at schools. After working for 8 years in special education classrooms, I formally quit my job this week, thought I know I “yielded and relinquished” that position two years ago when Myka was born. It’s the submitting part that I think I’m still working through…
Without a doubt, God has led me to stay home to care for Myka and her ongoing health needs during this season of life. Alivia will start Kindergarten in the fall (at the elementary school I taught at!), and I am confident that she is ready for this next phase of her life. Myka needs her mama to advocate for her, provide continuity in her care and just love on her after the many crises she’s encountered. THIS is my new role, and I’m submitting to that. To many women it probably sounds like an easy decision to choose to stay home, but for those who know how difficult it is to land a contracted teaching position, maintain a classroom and work through a graduate program and have the benefits and retirement offered through a public school system….it’s a lot to walk away from. The final decision of walking into the administration building and handing over my letter of resignation did not come without bittersweet emotions, and I will most definitely cry when I go to my classroom and pack a decade’s worth of teaching materials into boxes.
It was in first grade that I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I adored my first grade teacher, Mrs. Tadsen. My mind never changed about what I wanted to be “when I grew up,” though God placed a desire inside of me to work with children with special needs as I started college. My plans and expectations for my life worked out well for quite a while — I went to college, got married, got a teaching position a year later and started a family. It was in that first year of marriage that my husband had the nerve to say OUT LOUD – “We’ve had it pretty easy in our life and things have gone pretty well. I have a feeling that there are trials heading our way.” (Thanks again for verbalizing that, babe.) It was months later that his dad was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer and just a few months later, he was gone. A year later, my husband’s best friend died from cancer. Two months after that, my uncle also died from cancer. The moral of the story is not to keep your lips zipped about whether or not life is going well, it’s to expect the trials to come. If you’re not in one, there’s one coming. That’s life in a broken world.
For years I resisted those trials, fought them and only waited for resolution to come. It’s what we all want – resolution from the problems in our lives. That’s normal! Plans and expectations have changed on a far too frequent basis for me these past few years. It’s not that I don’t want some “normalcy” in my life, but I am learning to submit to the ebb and flow of life, knowing that God is orchestrating it all ultimately for His glory, not my comfort. I didn’t want to have a child with special needs, I didn’t want to quit my job, and I don’t want life to continue to be this exhausting.
So, I resign.
I don’t give up, I don’t quit, and I don’t stop caring.
I relinquish my ongoing desire for control, comfort, and ease. I yield. I submit.
Not to the whims of the world or the hope that “things will just work out.”
But daily, I continue to hold up my plans with open hands to the Lord, whose plans are better than mine even when I don’t understand them in the slightest. My prayer is that my resignation would be full of purpose, producing in me steadfastness and giving me opportunities to love and serve my family, church and community with the compassion of Christ. It’s a new season, a new role and new outlook. Rather than being disappointed in what I’ve given up, I will look ahead with determination not resignation.
James chapter 5 says this —
“Be patient, therefore, brothers until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”
You probably didn’t quit your job this week and hopefully aren’t enduring ongoing medical struggles…but there are areas of your life from which you need to resign. You need to yield, relinquish and submit something in your life in order to gain fresh perspective on what God might have for you…in your marriage, your parenting, your relationships…
Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”
Would you encourage my heart by sharing with me if you are challenged to resign something in your life? Resigning doesn’t mean quitting but trusting that the plans of the Lord are far better than your own.