Bitterness is a funny thing; like heartburn, it tends to bubble to the surface when you just want to enjoy the food just eaten. Last week I spent some time in my classroom getting ready for a new school year (fueled by enthusiasm from having a contract renewed for another school year) and I was sorting through boxes of random "school stuff" that had been so labeled and sitting in our dining room for months before I finally stacked them in the front of my classroom. I opened a box labelled "Professional Paperwork" with one objective--find a professional development certificate from my Lee v. Macon awareness training I did when I lived in Tuscaloosa. Every teacher in Alabama is supposed to have this on file with their current district, but, alas I do not because I never got around to it when hired at my present job.
I was completely unsuspecting of the emotions, thoughts, and feeling that would greet me upon sorting through the contents of the box. Let's just say that I didn't leave Tuscaloosa Middle School willingly in 2008, but rather, at the hands of a vindictive assistant principal, and this box contained copies of all the evaluation reports that she compiled and submitted for my permenent file.
And I was suddenly angry about the situation all over again.
I stewed for a couple of minutes, and then I closed up the box, and started thinking about all the ways my life has changed since being pink slipped in '08: I live in a town I adore. I have a job that I love. I have two children that I can't get enough of. I have a husband who makes me so very proud of him. I have a garden that has hundreds of tomatoes in it. I'm a homeowner. I have fantastic neighbors (all around). I'm a member of a church that is challenging me in wonderful ways. I'm three years older and wiser. What's to be angry about?
Hindsight is 20/20, so the saying goes. Yes, the circumstances in the moment were hurtful and taken oh, so personally, but only good things have sprung forth from that experience.
God was moving in my life in ways I didn't understand, in ways that I would not have chosen for myself. It's a dang good thing that I'm not actually in control, or I could have really messed this up. Really.
But, God is faithful and good, just and sovereign. He is, was, and ever shall be. I am humbled. Again.