In Every Circumstance
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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8, NIV

Sometimes, when God’s plans and our plans do not align, it can be challenging to see past our own expectations and pride and look toward a bigger promise or purpose that He may have for us. But, if we focus on Philippians 4:8 instead of our own expectations as we go about our daily responsibilities, we can experience the fullness of His blessings. 

The following testimony from Erlinda LaForgia highlights the importance of being ready and willing to answer His call in every circumstance—and the blessings that we will experience as a result! 

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I’ve worked as a teacher aide in a New York high school since 2015. Each school year usually begins with a job assignment from our assistant principal. Sometimes, small changes occur throughout the year, but typically nothing significant. However, the 2022-2023 school year was different for me…

I started out the year in an unusual role as a 1:1 aide for a student enrolled in a technical school. After the aide who was supposed to work with this student didn’t come to work, the assistant principal requested that I fill this role until they could hire a new aide because I had previously worked with this student in a self-contained classroom for a few years. Although it wasn’t my official assignment, I willingly accepted it. During this time, I was blessed to meet other paraprofessionals and students with special needs from other school districts. I was also able to accomplish my two practicum courses in the elementary and high schools of our school district with the kind support of my assistant principal. 

Several months later, my role changed when I received my official assignment as a 1:1 aide to a student with Emotional-Behavior Disorder (EBD). This role wasn’t easy. Ensuring this student’s safety in the building proved to be a daily challenge. By the time we reached the third quarter, this student’s parents and the school administration decided to send her to a different facility where she could get the specialized help she needed. As a result, I wrapped up the school year in another new role as the school’s test center coordinator, working with students who needed test-taking accommodations. This was a completely different experience that really stretched my organizational skills. Again, I accepted the challenge. At the end of the year, it felt good to hear favorable feedback about my work ethic and management skills from our Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Principal. 

I’ve always viewed my work, whatever it is, as a way to serve God and minister to others. Regardless of the assignment I am given, I want to be a blessing to others and represent Christ in my workplace. I believe the ways in which we handle our responsibilities (even the challenging ones) and relate to our superiors, colleagues, students, and parents are true testimonies of our relationship with God. It has been my guiding principle in life to do everything to please my Ultimate Master, Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:23). And that means doing my best in every circumstance according to the measure of His abundant grace in and for me. 

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Does your calling this year look different than what you had planned? Have you had an opportunity to let them see His work within the context of your work in your school regardless of the assignment? Do you have a testimony to share? If so, please reach out to jcabeen@christianeducators.org.

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