My day was made before 10:00 this morning! Will called me to say that he passed his second Praxis test! Some of you may know that he is about to graduate from seminary so there's a chance you're wondering why on earth he was taking the Praxis. Let me fill you in:
Will graduated from University of Memphis in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Communications & Management. He did this because he already felt called to pursue seminary with an intent to work as a youth pastor someday. So he started at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Bartlett in the Fall of 2010. In 2011 he got hired at a local church to be their youth pastor. We loved (and still do love) those teenagers and just enjoyed being a part of their lives. Will is so great with teenagers and that is something I love about him. He has such a gift of communicating and teaching that I think they really love too.
Last August we felt God was calling us to join a church in downtown Memphis. (Island Community Church) This church sees that there's a big need for outreach and ministry in the downtown area and we are so glad to now be a part of all that they are doing. We are both passionate about missions and outreach so we feel like ICC is perfect for us. Though Will is not on staff at this church, we know this is where God wants us right now.
As Will started his senior year at MABTS in the Fall of 2012, we began to pray and talk about what was next for us. Were we going to pursue working on staff at other churches? (either in Memphis or possibly out of state) Neither one of us knew what the next step was. Will had talked about teaching high school off an on before (for about the past year), but it never went much further than just tossing around the idea. We would not talk about it for a few months and then he would randomly mention it again. It was obvious that God was trying to get our attention with this teaching idea. Will began to look into what the requirements were for teaching high school and we quickly found out that he would have to get ANOTHER Masters degree in teaching/education. I think that was a tough pill for Will to swallow for a while. He loves school, but he couldn't help thinking that he went to seminary for nothing and that the past three years were all a waste of time. I tried to encourage him as much as I could, but still wanted him to decide for himself what it was that he felt God calling him to do without my nagging.
After many, many months of praying, he finally decided that he does want to teach high school. I was so excited for this decision because I can see how much potential he has with so many teenagers. If you know Will already, you know the sense of humor he has. He's such a goofball and so hilarious. He's going to make a great teacher!
Will took his first Praxis test at the beginning of April and took the second one today...and passed them both! He's now certified to get a temporary teaching license and has 3 years to complete the next Masters program. I am so, so proud of his accomplishments and his willingness to follow God's plan for his life no matter the cost (or amount of school!) He is an amazing leader for our family and is going to be such a great dad to little Crew.
If you live in or around Memphis you know of the situation with the school systems right now. Basically there's just a big mess with the city and county school systems trying to merge. We had someone tell us that it's a terrible time for Will to be searching for a teaching job (not very encouraging!) because they are cutting a bunch of teaching positions. Will and I both know and feel strongly that God led us this far and that He has a plan. Of course it's scary not knowing what's going to happen with the school systems and if there will be a position open for him to start in the Fall, but we are fully confident that God is going to take care of us. If you think about it, please pray for us and for Will to have the opportunity to teach this next school year. I get so excited thinking about how influential he could be as a teacher and I want more than anything for him to have the opportunity to do that this year. He still would love to teach full time and work/be really involved with a church here in Memphis. I know God didn't have Will go to seminary for no reason. He's had a plan all along and we're trying hard to follow in His footsteps instead of making our own path.
Thank you so much for your prayers!
P.S.-If you're in Memphis and have any connections with high school principals with Memphis City Schools or Shelby County Schools, please let me know!