Monday, July 29, 2013

Calling Me Softly

This weekend, I thought about my current situation as a tutor. This got me wondering about my calling in life. I wondered if God had called me to this job or if it was just the direction my life has gone because of the circumstances surrounding my life at the time I obtained this job.

To understand the current path I’m on, we have to look back at the paths that came before.

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When I was in grade school, I helped out in Sunday school classes when the adults in the church were unwilling. From the nursery to the toddlers to elementary school kids not much younger than myself (I was nine or ten at the time), I worked with them all in turn. The whole youth group helped out, and we gained knowledge and experience and wisdom the adults missed out on.

At ages twelve and thirteen, I helped out at a preschool with the two and three year olds. During this time, I learned a lot about the responsibility required to work with young children. Sometimes it was lots of fun. Other times, I had to be the disciplinarian, which was very hard on my nerves. (It still is today.) 

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That led me to baby-sitting, which I’ve enjoyed immensely over the years. The children I’ve watched have varied in ages from newborn to 13 years. Each child and their parents taught me new things about what it means to be a parent and how difficult it can be. But there were also lessons in how to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. (I must say those moments I savored.)

Also, as a teenager, I helped out one summer in Vacation Bible School. This experience was incredible as several of the kids in the class I shared with a sweet lady came to know Jesus as their personal Savior. I’ve never been more humbled than I was that summer. It escaped my understanding why God would use me to reach those kids for Him. My mind is still delightedly boggled to this day about that.

I guess you could say God used those (and other) experiences to groom me to become a tutor. In my senior year of high school, while I was homeschooling, a man in town had a couple of sons who both needed help with math. My mom worked with one while I worked with the other. I never thought I would be a math tutor, but there I was, teaching a sixth grader how to work mathematical problems. Word of mouth brought more students to us, and God taught us how to work with each one in the subject(s) they struggled with. Now, ten years later, it takes all three women in my family (mom, sister and me) to help all the kids God leads to our door. We have even pulled my dad in when we needed his computer expertise!

Glancing ahead into the future for a moment, I suppose you could say God is using tutoring and all the other past experiences with children to groom me to be a great mom. Though I am as yet unmarried and childless, I know God is working out His plan for me one step at a time. I may not always understand this plan of His, but He gives me glimpses along the way.

This article is proof of that. Until this moment, I hadn’t really known that tutoring was my calling. I always thought I would audibly hear God call me to a certain career or life path. Or at least feel an emotional nudge in a certain direction. Apparently that isn’t the way God spoke to me on this one. It seems it wasn’t any one particular moment that drew me into tutoring. It wasn’t one simple decision that led to my working with children for over fourteen years.

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Instead, God called me softly. By placing in my heart a longing to be around and help children, He led me to my current path of tutoring kids. Yes, it’s difficult at times. Yes, it’s overwhelming and frustrating when my techniques aren’t working for certain kids. But, then God shows me something new. Then, God cultivates in my heart a step of maturity I never thought I’d reach. He’s given me patience (something I still haven’t mastered), love, joy, fascination and many other blessings along the way. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with my family and not have to find work outside my home. This has given me the chance to pursue another possible career path (writing novels), but that’s another topic altogether.

The blessings of working with children confirm to me that, sure enough, I have been called into action.

God called me softly. How did He call YOU? Was it audible or silent? A gentle nudge or hard shove? Did you stumble upon it or was it dropped in your lap? I can't wait to hear your stories of God's call on your life!

2 comments:

  1. I love this post, Andrea, and how God showed you all the little pieces He built into your life that now add up to your calling as a tutor! So cool! (I tutored in the writing center in college. Didn't always love it because most of the students were required to be there by professors...and thus did not seem to enjoy the experience. :) BUT I'll always remember this one guy...he was a history major but also such a fabulous writer. He'd bring in these fabulous papers and I'd wonder why he was even there getting help...but it forced me to dig deeper as a tutor.)

    Anyway, I've always known I wanted to be a writer. So, I guess I don't know if it was a gentle nudge or shove as much as just a...knowing. In fact, even in my most doubtful days of wondering why I was pursuing this writing thing, there still always seemed to be those whispers in my heart that this is what I was made for.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Melissa! Your calling was a knowing... I love that! Isn't it neat how God speaks to each of us so differently? He truly is amazing.

      I'm so glad you stopped by today. I'm smiling, so thanks for that.

      Blessings!

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