December 18, 2012

Ben: Looking back on 2012

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Over the past year, I have learned the true meaning of this verse.  Amanda and I have been talking about me writing a post updating everyone on my job and just my life in general, and although I was hesitant, I decided that I wanted to let everyone know how my life has changed over the past year, and choosing to publish the post today was no coincidence.  One year ago today, I walked out of my classroom at Mississinewa for the last time, and what a wild ride the last year has been for the Burmans.
As many of you know, I left my teaching job at Mississinewa at Christmas Break because it was not a good fit and I was incredibly unhappy and unhealthy.  I left that job scared to death because I didn’t have another job lined up, but knew that I had to leave for my own health and the health of our marriage.  I was unemployed for about 18 hours as I was offered a job at Courtesy Motors the next day.  I worked at the dealership for about 7 months and the Lord provided for us.  He provided a job and provided me with the skills to be a decent salesman.  But God really provided for me in July.
During my time at the dealership, I enjoyed the change of pace from teaching, but as time went on, I began to miss teaching and coaching, and also understood that I did not want to be a car salesman for the rest of my life.  After talking about a lot of different options ranging from going back to school, looking for other sales jobs, and substitute teaching, we decided that I should give teaching one more shot.  When we decided to give it one more shot, we thought God had opened a door for us when I interviewed for a position at a residential home for troubled boys here in Bluffton.   We knew that it would be very difficult for me to get a teaching job having left my previous position mid-year.  After interviewing and talking with the organization several times, Amanda and I thought I had the job.  I ended up not getting the job and Amanda and I pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be living light because I would have to just substitute at local schools to get my foot back in the door, and hope that eventually I could get a full time position.  And then God opened the window after closing the door.
At the end of July, I interviewed at Southern Wells High School for a part time position.  I was incredibly excited when I was offered the job and accepted it in a heartbeat, even though it was only part time.  I would be teaching four periods a day and monitoring study hall the remaining three periods of the day.  I was not going to be great money, but I was going to be teaching, and that is all that mattered.  And then God provided again for us.
About a week and a half before school started, I got a call from the principal asking me to come in a meet with him.  He told me that they had a full time English teacher that had left for another job, and there was a possibility that I would be moving into that position.  We met on a Friday and he let me know that there was another teacher that may be interested in the position as well, and he would let me know by Monday.  After I left his office, I met with the basketball coach about a coaching position.  During our meeting, he let me know that the teacher that left was the JV basketball coach and that he wanted me to take over that position.  As we were talking, the principal walked in and let me know that I was now a full time faculty member because the other teacher decided that she didn’t want to position any more.
In less than two weeks, I went from planning on subbing, simply hoping that I would eventually get another teaching job, to being a part time teacher, to now being a full time teacher and JV basketball coach.  I never doubted that God would provide for us from the moment that I walked out of my classroom in Gas City for the last time, but I never imagined he would provided for us like he did.  I love teaching and coaching at Southern Wells.  The district, the administration, the other faculty member, and the students well all very welcoming and fit my personality very well.  I am incredibly happy and healthy and could see myself staying in my position for a long time.
In the past year, God has provided me with a job to help pay the bills and to give me a little time away from the classroom to help rekindle my fire for teaching.  He then provided me with a great teaching job in a wonderful school.  And now he has provided Amanda and me with a baby on the way.  It is amazing how God has given us everything we needed and wanted over the past year.  Although I have always had faith in God’s ability to provide, but the last year has really strengthened my faith and made me so thankful for my family and for a God that will provide for me.  If the next year is even close to the last, I will be living an amazing life.  God has a plan for everyone on this planet, and even though things can seem bad at times, I have learned to always keep my eyes on him and know that he will never give me anything that I can’t handle and that he will always provide everything I need.
This Christmas will be much brighter than last year was because I am so much happier with my job situation and we have so much to look forward to in 2013.  God provided for us so much over the past year, but the most important thing he ever provided for us was his son Jesus Christ.  Remember that he is the reason for the Christmas Season, and always remember that he has plans for you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.
-Ben