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05 March 2015

Patience In Trial ● by Jess

I remember sitting in the airplane next to my husband and grabbing his hand. Inside I was screaming with joy. We were about to be expats in London! 

I was certain the road ahead of us would be perfect. First, I'd reestablish my photography business, which had been quite successful in NYC. Then, after a few years of basking in the glory of that, we'd have a quartet of beautiful babies and we'd all speak to each other with swanky transatlantic accents, and everything would be sublime.

Needless to say, reality was about to hit. Hard.

It started with my business. I quickly learned that wedding photography is a very different animal on this side of the pond, as are the people working within the industry. After several disheartening experiences with colleagues, I started to wonder if I was pursing the right path.

The final nail in the coffin came in the shape of a ninety-five pound brunette bombshell. She was twirling around, as models are wont to do, and smashed into a table that had my equipment set up on it (kids these days!). A full kit of lenses and flash units smashed to the floor, all more or less destroyed.

Despite the thousands of dollars of smashed glass, I wasn't too upset to begin with. After all, I did have insurance. Unfortunately, I found out later that my insurance was a US policy, and once I left the country, it was no longer valid.


So, that was that. I picked up the pieces I started applying to new jobs. In six months, I received only one interview. I prayed to know where to go and what to do, but I never really felt like I was getting an answer. At my lowest point, I applied to a discount clothing store where everyone working was either under 18 or could barely speak English.

They rejected my application by email within 15 minutes.

If I couldn't even get a job THERE, where in the world was I suppose to work? The sheer volume of rejections was almost comical, and I could only think that God must have his hand in it. Otherwise, it just didn't make sense.

Around the end of those six months, an intense maternal drive kicked in and I started to wonder if perhaps the reason I wasn't getting work was because it was time to become a mommy.

Sadly, this path ended in miscarriage.

By this point, I felt so drained and so broken. For me, the worst part was feeling like my husband might no longer see me as the strong, successful woman I had been before. I was embarrassed, sad and so very tired.

One night, it all just felt like too much. I stayed up after my husband went to bed, sobbing in the bathroom til I was to numb to cry anymore. I prayed for a long time.

The only thought seered through the numbness was, “If you could do anything, what would it be?”

That answer was obvious. I wanted to teach-- little ones (that maternal drive hadn't left). But I'd looked for jobs of that kind a dozens of times already and they all required certifications and experience I didn't have.

The next morning I woke up. My eyes felt like I'd gained fifty pounds overnight, all around my eyelids. But the question still burned in my brain, “If you could do anything, what would it be?” So I got on Gumtree (the UK Craigslist) and, once again, looked for teaching jobs.

To my surprise, there, at the VERY TOP OF THE PAGE, was a position in a Private school, specifically looking for teachers seeking certification. It was a hybrid teaching-licensure program and it was located within walking distance of our house! I honestly couldn't believe it. I had to read it five or six times just to make sure it was real.

Within days I was offered the job and I started teaching a month later. Thanks, in part, to this program, I'll be getting my Masters in Education this Fall at one of the best education programs in the world.

In hindsight, God was ready to give me everything I had been asking for, all the way down to the tiny details. The problem, of course, was that I had to give it time to happen. Admittedly, I have always struggled with being patient. In James we read, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

It can be so hard to find that quiet contentment in our lives, especially when we are so desperate to force order in our time and in our own way. God knows us, he loves us and he will help us in every way possible. We just have to take a step back, and allow the subtle, but significant blessing of trust in our Heavenly Father to get us where we need to go.

[Post originally featured on Green Eyed Jen]

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