How I Developed Perseverance Through My Struggles

Wow...what a year 2015 has been. I know that were still a few months away from the end of the year and a start toward a new one, but my goodness. Life has been crazy.

After I finished graduate school in June of 2015, I honestly just did not know what I wanted to do with my life. I had thought for so long all throughout my graduate school experience that I would take and apply what I had been studying in school (Communication and Creative Writing) toward the perfect career in public relations somewhere in Portland, where I would pour my heart into some professional social media/creative writing position. After all, I had worked for over a year as a paid-intern for an amazing public relations company, where I gained valuable experience and knowledge toward the field of PR. But I just remember once I finished school that I knew I definitely did not want to work any type of corporate job. Like that was absolutely not at all what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I wanted to teach.

And I heard the Lord kept saying it too, in His soft, yet strong, voice over my life. "Teaching, Teach, I've called you to teach Jessica..." However even though the Lord was saying this, no opportunities were opening up. ***For those of you who don't know, when I say teach, I am referring to teaching college classes. Since I have my M.A. in Communication Studies, I am permitted to teach college level communication courses. When I was a graduate student, I had the opportunity to teach public speaking, and I developed a (VERY unexpected) strong passion for it.*** Anyways, I as I began to search for college level teaching jobs, nothing was opening up. I was so discouraged. I applied to different schools over Oregon, but no calls were coming back. 

Ugh. It was a painful season of my life my friends. The worst part of it all was that God had placed a dream so strongly on my heart, and no doors were being opened toward that dream. I remember feeling hopefuls and forgotten. I really felt God sharpening me more than I have ever been sharpened in my entire walk. Because you know what? It is really easy to say God is good and believe and act on that when everything is going how you want it to. It is MUCH harder, and requires deep, authentic trust in Jesus to keep pursuing Him when things aren't going your way. Even though I was tempted to feel sorry for myself during this season, I chose to get more plugged in than ever to a local church that was absolutely phenominal toward my spiritual growth. I also began to pursue photography, and took a job working in social work (that I ended up deciding to leave, but I still tried it out and I am proud of myself for that!). :). 

It was in about March of 2016 when I felt very strongly that I was supposed to move to Portland.  As explained previously, I  had recently left the social work job that wasn't the right fit for me (and also the wrong location for me ), and I was looking for work again. I had also just started a new job where I worked remotely teaching online technology courses, so I was in a good place to move. Still though...my hopes and dreams of being in the classroom and teaching with the students were unfulfilled. I still felt strongly that I was supposed to be in the classroom, and I wanted it so bad. Yet...God wasn't opening the door.

Anyways, in June of 2016 I did end up moving to the suburbs of Portland, and began to call Beaverton, Oregon my new home. I felt so incredibly at peace about my decision to leave Corvallis. After all, my parents knew that I would be happier in a bigger city with more movement and people. Once I moved to Beaverton, I began to get plugged into Westside a Jesus Church. I knew that Westside was the church that God wanted me to attend. I also knew that I wanted to continue serving in Youth Ministry like I had been doing in Corvallis, so I became a Middle School Youth Leader at Westside, which has been absolutely amazing. All of the leaders are so nice, and it feels like a gained a new little family. 

A couple months into my move, I received a call from Portland Community College. They let me know that they had received my application and were interested in hiring me to teach public speaking. I could't believe it! God is so good. I went in for an interview the next day, and they hired me on the spot. I was so thankful. 

This past season of my life definitely has had its ups and downs, my friends. I am thankful that God is opening new career opportunities in my life right now.  I am also looking into teaching Elementary kids, so I might be pursuing that avenue as well. For now, I am thankful for this opportunity to teach at the college level. I definitely developed a stronger confident trust in Jesus through this season, as I perservere and kept telling myself that He was and is always still good. I remember being so low one day that I went out and bought a handwritten painting of Jeremiah 29:11 to put onto my wall, just to remind myself of the goodness and truth of God's word. I hope I can encourage other people through this post who may be facing a season of unanswered prayer and discouragement. And you know what too? One of the hardest parts about being a Christian is that God isn't on our time frame. He is NEVER in a hurry. He knows the future and has good plans, but sometimes He delays His plans in our lives so that way we can be sharpened and our faith grows. If you're in a hard season, keep trusting Jesus. He has good plans. If you don't believe me, then just go read Jeremiah 29:11! :)

I am excited to start teaching soon. I also am looking into teaching Elementary in the future too, so well see. 

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
Romans 12:12