Part of my training year as a teacher was to spend a week in a primary school learning all I can about how kids are taught in Key Stages 1 and 2 (equivalent to Primary School 1-6 in Nigeria) to help me teach them better when they move on to Key Stages 3 – 5 a.k.a secondary school. As I was (or am?) still settling in Manchester when the time came around for me to spend that week in a primary school, my professional mentor in school was kind enough to ask me if I wanted to spend it in Loughborough as that was where I knew people and could reconnect with friends there. I immediately jumped at the opportunity and said ‘Yes’. I had the job of then emailing quite a few primary schools and after a few emails and some ‘Nos’, I got a ‘Yes’. (If you’ve not read my blog post on not being afraid of No’s, you can do so here.)
Image credit: Soshable
I got all the paper work ready and planned for that week. I knew I knew the school and had been there before or had something to do with it during my time in Loughborough but I could not just pinpoint exactly what. I had my suspicions but I wasn’t 100% certain. So I waited till I got there Monday morning and yes, my suspicions were spot on!
Image credit: It’s Okay To Be Smart
I had worked there as a cleaner for maybe a week or two, at least a week, during the first few months as an MSc student in Loughborough University. I wasn’t sure if I should share that info with the teacher I was shadowing or just keep it to myself. I decided on the later. I didn’t even tell my friends nor my family. Till about 3 months later, when my brother was with me for a half-term break and I said, it was such an interesting thing that I had to blog about it.
For now I’ll pause here as I’m not too sure why I was reminded of it this first Wednesday in June. Oh okay, now I see one reason why I was reminded (~ 3 weeks later); so here we go:
1. Your present situation may just be a mirage or a miniaturised version of what is to come
When I came for my MSc, I got a tuition scholarship which meant I only had to pay for living expenses but living in the UK and Nigeria are on two different levels and I had to find a job asap. Cleaning was easy to come by so I did that the whole MSc year and first few weeks of my PhD after which I got ‘promoted’ to a being a Note-taker for the Counselling Service. Fast forward 8 years, and I’m teaching in the same school I cleaned! Talk about metamorphosis.
Image credit: HD Wallpaper
Whatever it is you have to put up with is one of the things that just feeds into making you into what you’ve been designed to achieve; it’s just a stepping stone to the place of greatness. The palace that David was a harpist became the place where he ruled many years later (1st & 2nd Samuel). The cross Christ died on is the cross that makes it possible for you and I to be reconciled to GOD.
Second reason (~ 2 weeks after the first):
2. Struggles you currently face but eventually overcome prepares you for other people
This makes me remember meeting a prospective student when I travelled to Lagos last year as a representative of my University for student recruitment, who asked about funding her studies and what jobs were available to help with living expenses. I told her it depends on what she’s prepared to do. She asked, “like what?” I answered, “like cleaning.” And her expression changed to looking-insulted. Then I added, “I did that almost all my MSc year.” And she softened up immediately, almost apologising via ‘facial‘. I smiled inwardly and I knew it spoke to her that it was only for a season, given were I was then – a PhD holder.
Image credit: Real Grace
2nd Corinthians 1 v 3-5 tells us that we are able to pass on the comfort we receive from GOD to those who need that comfort, telling them in essence: “This too shall pass;” “You’ll get through this.”
So dear people, I hope I have been able to convince you and not confuse you that no experience in your life is ever wasted; no situation is permanent; circumstances do not define you – don’t let them do. Your identity should be in GOD alone. Morning always comes after the night.
To your going through, . . .