Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Through the Window of My Weaknesses

I just had a golden moment.

I just realized that, so far, my greatest strengths in life are indeed the triumphs over my greatest weaknesses.

Take, for example, my profession.  I hated math as a child, and I did poorly in it. 

As I progressed in age, I consciously decided to cover my weakness by making math appear to be my strength.  I did this by taking in college as many advanced math courses as I possibly could (as well as writing a thesis on math) so as to "bulk up" my resume with what I lacked personally.

The result, incredibly, is that I fell madly in love with the subject.  And I remember exactly where I was when it dawned on me that I had fallen utterly in love with that which I once hated.  This realization was the kind of epiphany that makes you realize that the course of your life is about to CHANGE FOREVER...because you simply can't deny the joy of your heart.

I was driving on Route 772 in Lititz, just before Owl Hill Road.  The date was Thursday, November 18, 2004, and I was driving home from parent-teacher conferences.  This was the first real moment where I said to myself, "Oh my gosh, I want to teach math.  I want to teach math!  I want nothing else in this world but to TEACH MATH!!!"  And yes, I wanted to do it every day, all day long.  I loved it that much!

And I literally screamed.  I screamed so loudly and so joyfully that I knew I would go anywhere in the world to teach the subject that I loved.

I went home that night and scratched out pages and pages of brainstorms, outlining my educational philosophy, what our classroom procedures would be, how I would use error analysis to have students self-check their understanding of mathematical concepts, how I would get the students to derive every formula we used, and how I would make sure that NOBODY who "hated" math saw that as a permanent feeling.

This was the beginning of a beautiful journey.  I studied for the certification test to add "middle school math" to my qualifications, then alerted my pricipal to my newfound love.  My principal said he was sad to see me go but promised me a letter of recommendation since there was no open math positions in our middle school.

But, just as I began to prepare for a far-ranging job search, suddenly--due to a sheer act of God--a man who was not expecting to retire DID and a woman who was not expected to move teaching positions DID, leaving me in the perfect place to interview for the 7th grade math position that I always wanted.  It was all God!

There are other beautiful stories I could share with you about how God has truly redeemed my weaknesses, making them strengths.   I share this idea with you, not because I want to develop any confidence in myself, but because I want to remind you that weaknesses are WORTH LOOKING INTO.  If we open our eyes, our weaknesses are the windows through which we can see our future strengths!

I am now going to make a list of all my current weaknesses...because I do think that their inverses will tell me my future, if I keep myself open to Christ who can redeem us!

Yes, I believe that the greatest strengths to which we are called are the inverses of our current weaknesses.  I believe it with my whole heart.