Choosing to become a supply teacher really did a number on my stomach and nerves.
Because I'm an unqualified (emergency) supply, I am literally a last resort. Which usually means a phone call about 30 minutes before school starts. Sometimes it's the night before, sometimes it's early morning. But whenever it comes (or doesn't), it's always about waiting and wondering. And given that I don't have a cell phone, it also means worrying that I'm missing a job if I happen to go out. It has also meant putting all other plans on hold, or being unable to make plans at all, just in case I get a call that day.
It was stressing me out. I didn't know how else to handle it. Until the answer came, still and small, but clear as a bell:
you only need to know what you need to do today.
Every day my day was going to look different, and I was worrying ahead into the week about how it was all going to go. What I realized is that I could have a different calling or purpose for each and every day. That might not be determined until 9:30 am (when no more phone calls were likely to come for that day), and that's okay. If I get a phone call, my focus that day will be on teaching. If it doesn't come, or I miss it, then God has something different in mind for me that day. The point is not to be disappointed or fretting about not getting a call. It isn't about if they like me or need me; in fact, I'm such small beans in the big scheme of running a school. What was becoming hugely important to me was not even a fleck of dust to a vice principal somewhere.
I realize I have a gift right now, a chance to hone the skill of being spiritually in tune with the day and being sure to pass these moments exactly as I should.