A few months ago, God dropped it into my spirit to become certified as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). I prayed on it for a couple of weeks while it rolled around in my mind, then I attended an informational webinar, after which I decided to get feedback from my 2 personal advisors who I run my major life decisions by. When they independently agreed that, based on certain factors, it sounded like God’s will unfolding in my life, I stopped questioning it and jumped in with both feet.
Before the week was out, I had signed up for an 11-week, 170-hour online course that included a 20-hour practicum. Yeah, you heard me right. I would have to do 20 hours of teaching as part of the certification course…while I was in the middle of teaching English as a foreign language! How perfect was that? And because I had been teaching English as a foreign language over the previous few months, I would automatically fulfill 10 of those 20 hours of practicum by simply having A verify that I had, in fact, taught.
This unfolded in the middle of the “boss” episode. In fact, I signed up for the next available online class on that same day. I would be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if I should wait until the situation was resolved 1 way or another. After all, how would I complete my practicum if the relationship went south and I decided to blow this pop stand or the idiot decided to put me out? And I didn’t want to cool my heals in Jamaica while I completed my certification; heel-cooling isn’t a favoured pastime of mine.
My wondering lasted but a moment because I knew deep in my spirit that this was God’s plan and no “boss” in any organisation, no man on earth, or no devil in hell could stand in the way of God’s plan for my life. If my road to certification wasn’t through this organisation, then God would surely make another way for it to happen. After all, hadn’t I thought that I would spend 12 months in Aceh? That was my plan, but God had something else up His sleeve and changed that situation at the drop of a hat with absolutely no interference from me, not by word nor deed nor prayer.
I did my online course. It required an average of 10 to 12 hours each week of reading class material, attending online lectures, participating in mandatory online group discussions and doing quizzes and assignments. That meant 12 to 14 hour days for me, since I do about 8 hours of work each day for this organisation and I write this blog (which I take very seriously, thank you very much). Since Sundays are my only weekly days off, I pushed myself during the other 6 days to get my assignments and readings done so that I could (mostly) relax for that 1 day.
My course ended in the first week of July so I finished up my final project and assignments before I left for Mount Rinjani at the end of June, because I knew that when I got back from that adventure, I didn’t want to have to speed through my assignment and possibly do a substandard job of it.
I passed. I am now a certified-for-life Teacher of English as a Foreign Language.
To be perfectly honest, by the seventh week of my course, I was job hunting. I even had an online interview. Yup, I started planning my exit from Indonesia; I worked out my travel route back to the west and even started making travel plans with friends. I was still in the midst of my culture shock (and totally unaware of it) and I was more than ready to put my shoes back on.
But then on cleaning day, while I was wiping down dirty bookshelves in the library, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Stay put. You’re not going anywhere right now.” Clear as day, I heard Him say it. I wasn’t even talking to Him at that moment, I was totally focussed on what I was doing. Well, you can guess my response. “Seriously, Lord?? Did you not read my blog post about the roaches, rats and dirt around here?” But what was the use of arguing? I’m not going against God’s plan for my life – been there and done that to my detriment. So, I stay put in Jakarta because God isn’t ready to move me yet.
To God be the glory, great things He is always doing.