A Soft Landing – Trust and Hope in God for the Future

‘Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.’ – Romans 12.12

(I’ve been apprehensive to post this to ya’ll, but in times when I’m feeling dim, I start writing.)

Sat in the empty waiting room, I glared at the clock.

Fifteen minutes had passed since I had finished my test and I had been left to stare at the only other moving object in the room; the second hand moving around the clock face.

The first time I took the Maths test, I was told less than five minutes later that I hadn’t passed. Fifteen minutes seemed too much. It seems they were attempting a re-count.

When I eventually got called into the side room, I was told that I’d failed for the second time and that if I’d have got one more mark, then I would have had the word, ‘successful’ on my score sheet. The poor bloke who gave me the news decided to kneel down beside me when delivering such news; the tears were the only language I could form.

Now, I officially want to kick The Department of Education in the nuts.

Here’s why:

Back in December, I had a successful interview at a school. Everything went so smoothly; I answered the interview questions well (I surprised myself with my eloquent and thoughtful answers!) and it was actually really enjoyable. I was told there and then that they were giving me a place on the SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) programme for September 2016 to teach Secondary School English. This would involve working four days a week in school (over two placements) with lectures one day a week at The University of Southampton. Bliss.

The catch?

That I was required, like all of the other PGCE/SCITT trainees in the country, to pass The Department of Education Skills Tests; English and Maths. Yes, having a B at GCSE Maths wasn’t enough for these people. They wanted me to do another Maths test. The gits.

I passed my English first time (thank the Lord, that could have been awkward), but alas, I have now failed the Maths twice. I am only allowed one more shot at it. If I fail it again, then I can’t do them (let alone go through UCAS or an interview at a school again) for another two years. Yup. Two whole years.

I want to teach English. I’m good at it. I love being in a classroom filled with young people who may or may not hear what I’ve gotta say. That’s rare.

And yet, the government clearly don’t want people like me to teach because I take more than a minute and a half to analyse complicated data in a graph.

How am I feeling?

Well, yes, I’m peed off. I’m tired. My bank is a little bit sad after paying out for a tutor. I’m frustrated with the system. And quite frankly, I’m done with numbers.

Some might use the cheesy metaphor that I’m ‘standing at a crossroads’ in that I don’t know which way I’m going to go. Am I going to do the test a third time and pass? Am I going to do it again and fail? What will that mean then?

Taking it literally, I think crossroads are boring. So here’s my metaphorical parallel.

I feel like I’m riding an old donkey through Marshmallow Land. (Go with it.) The donkey is exhausted and it will regularly kick me off, causing me to fall. However, when I land, it’s a sweet, soft landing onto the Marshmallow-ey ground.

Why do I feel like I’ve got a soft landing every time I fall?

Because I’ve got a God who catches me.

After I graduated a year and a half ago, I didn’t get a job I wanted. I was so cheesed off. (Worse than that to be honest, but I wanted to get the word ‘cheese’ in here.) After many tears and brokenness, I landed a position at a bible college, and it’s been the best thing for me. I’ve met my fiance here, I’ve grown in myself and I’ve learnt so much. So, after my own plan failed, God showed me the most beautiful and incredible plan.

Even though things might not go your way, know that you’re created by a God who is stronger than any uncertainty. Have confidence in Him in the midst of the struggles.

Only God knows what’s going to happen next. Right now, I’m exhausted and revision is not something I’m going to be doing for several days. Thankfully, I love my job and it’s a comfort to be surrounded by my colleagues and friends, so I’m doing okay.

I’m going to remain to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. I’m going to keep goofying around and singing Disney songs with my fiance. I’m going to keep a smile on my face. I’m going to be brave. I’m going to keep thanking Jesus for all He has done. And it’s all going to be okay because ‘The Lord [my] God [is in] in [my] midst, The Mighty One who saves; He rejoice[s] over [me] with gladness, He quiet[s] [me] with His love, He rejoice[s] over [me] with singing.’ Zephaniah 3v17

Thank you to my family, fiance and friends who have sent me joy. Your words and actions mean more than you’ll ever know.

Prayer requests if poss! Please pray that:

  • I’d see the sunshine in each day & that I’ll think about the blessings and the good bits of every day.
  • I’d give my final Maths test my best.
  • I’d have boldness & courage.

“A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day.” – Aragorn

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