My name is Woo, but I call myself Judy. My current vocation is being unemployed.

Lots of bait, no bites

Back in February, the principal at my former workplace informed me that I would not be asked to return to teach. The decision was finalized and formally communicated at the end of March. The reason was simple: they only re-hire teachers who by the end of the first year score superior not average.

  • April – 12 applications to schools with a ‘vacant’ art or design teacher position
  • May – 15 additional applications to schools with a ‘vacant’ art teacher position
  • July – 30 additional applications to schools with a ‘vacant’ art teacher position
  • August – 11 additional applications to schools with a ‘vacant’ art teacher position
  • September – applications for 6 graphic assistant positions, 8 tutoring positions
  • October – faxed 250 resumes to schools in between Addison and Garfield. I used the Carters’ fax machine. Alexandra forwarded my resume to half a dozen temp agencies. Cheryl helped me rewrite my resume and cover letter. These latter interventions from the body were extremely encouraging.

This sucks

The backup plan was to be a substitute teacher. In years past, substitute teachers were in high demand, receiving multiple calls a day to cover for sick teachers, able to work full-time. By mid-November, I was called in to sub a total of ten days. I found out that there was a surplus of substitutes, who were certified teachers. Lots of out-of-work teachers, lots of schools closing.

Security blanket

It begs the question, What Would Jesus Do? He would say, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24).

Teaching was my security blanket. A place to grow, people to talk to, challenges to overcome, financial security to rely on. Without my security blanket, I was left with the Father, Son, and Spirit. As it turns out, in the presence of the Father, Son, and Spirit is the safest place to grow, nicest persons to talk to (three to be exact), infinite challenges to overcome and infinite financial security to rely on.

Reboot

Back when Israel was a nation, God instituted the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee. Every seven years, the Israelites were required to not farm, so the land could reboot. God promised to increase the harvest the sixth year, which would last all through the seventh year rest, into the eighth year farming, until the ninth year when the Israelites would harvest what was planted the eight year. Every seventh Sabbath Year was the Year of Jubilee. All debts were forgiven; land was redistributed according to inheritance; slaves and servants were set free; foreclosed houses and property were released to the original owners. It was a year of rest, so nobody farmed. It was a chance to reboot (Lev. 25).

This is my year of rest. Enjoying what God has given me: time to rest in Him. I took sewing classes, created a skirt, hemmed three pairs of pants, mended the hole in Crystal’s lab coat pocket. I read through Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem (fyi: it’s the 1300 page theology text book used by many Bible Colleges). I listened to an online seminary course and took 40 pages of notes. I’m taking voice lessons. I’m using Tracy’s keyboard to practice piano and singing. I’m applying for a bazillion jobs. Meanwhile, I’m living off of last year’s income.

Faith

There are two ways to do things: with faith and without faith. What makes a Sabbath holy is trusting God (a.k.a. resting in God). Aside from licentiousness, the activity can be virtually anything, like rescuing a sheep that fell in a hole, eating corn, or healing a withered hand. I decided to sing, sew, and study seminary subject matter for my Sabbath. Productivity certainly mimics God in His omnipotence, but what separates me from a nonbeliever is that I trust Him because He is trustworthy. God is sufficient for whenever I need to grow, talk, overcome a challenge, or pay a bill, for any ordinary and extraordinary circumstance.

My faith grows by praying and studying scripture. Scripture will give you blanket statements and examples of God bearing the burden and responsibility. Prayer puts your faith into practice. By addressing Him alone, you’re acting in accordance to your faith that He exists, hears, understands, and answers (Heb 11:6). He says He provides, He says He helps, He says He comforts, He says He draws near. Call Him out on it. Call out to Him. Ask Him to be what He says He is. Those are my prayers.

Speaking of, for the next two months, I’m temporarily working full-time as a secretary, covering for someone’s vacation. Just in time. I had depleted the contents of my checking account, but hadn’t dipped into my savings.

Faithful

I pray that God is faithful to provide, short-term and long-term. I plan on registering at more temp agencies, applying for menial-wage jobs, and re-visiting ChicagoPublic School’s HR website for openings. God will place me where He will, when He wills it. Sometimes, it’s scary and weird without my security blanket. Progressively, it’s freeing to rely on God.

Fun Facts

Look up 2 Chronicles 26:20-21 for the correlation between the length of the exile as a result of disobedience to Leviticus 25.