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Girl Meets God

    by Melissa Mathews

Meeting God When the Ends Don't Meet
Date Posted: July 8, 2007

Thank Him in advance for what the future holds, for He is already there. --Elizabeth Elliot

"How are we looking this month?" Scott said one Saturday in August (2005) on our way home from my sister's house.

"Not good," I said.

We had just come out of summer- the first summer I hadn't worked in several years. I had resigned my SermonCentral.com job in Spring, and in May, Scott hired someone to take my place as worship leader for our church plant.

"The ends aren't going to meet this month."

"Ughhh." He groaned.

We had both been enjoying my new freedom, cheerfulness, and the actual potential for all my work to get done. We were holding out hope that I might be able to just be mom for a while. But the checkbook was beginning to argue.

"We can't worry about it Scott. I'll sub when I can." (Substitute teach, that is.)
"We'll catch up."

Though it wasn't always the case, I was feeling especially optimistic that day about God's ability to provide for our family. He always had in the past. I couldn't imagine things would be any different on this day.

And then my cell phone rang. It was the computer from our school district that schedules substitute teachers. I was rather surprised to get this call on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

"We have a job available for Melissa Mathews. To hear the job description press 1. To decline, press 5."

How do you decline a job in the middle of a we-need-more-money conversation? So I pressed 1.

"We have a roving position available at Inderkum High School for Monday, August 22, from 7:55 to 3:15. To accept the position, press one. To hear the job description again, press five."

August 22? That was the first day of school! And what in the world did roving mean? I pressed five. The machine repeated the assignment. How crazy would it be to sub on the first day of the new school year? I pressed five again. After the third listen, I pressed 1 and got the job number.

I had been keeping my eye on the job opening website for our school district. Earlier in the summer on a day of desperation, I had actually applied in response to a "Secondary English Teacher" posting, but had stated in my cover letter that I only wanted to work part-time. Fat chance. That position had disappeared from the site, but the week before school started, another English position popped up on the website. Wow—how would they fill a job at that late date I wondered? I had sent an email to the principal stating I could help him temporarily if he hadn't filled the position when the school year started. I had also left him a voice mail. It doesn't hurt to make yourself available, I thought.

So when I showed up Monday morning with the other roving subs prepared to teach an English class, he was more than pleasantly surprised. "You're a life saver!" he said. But my intentions in showing up ready to teach had only been to save my own life. Spending an entire day with high school students and having nothing to occupy their time sounded like a complete and total nightmare.

"Are you interested in the job?" the principal asked me. "I haven't even had time to start the hiring process yet."

Surely he didn't just say what I thought he said.

"The job is only 80% though."

Now I knew I was dreaming.

"I'll have to ask my family. I haven't even thought about it," I said feeling pleasantly overwhelmed at the prospect.

So three weeks later, when I signed my teaching contract that was back dated to the first day of school for a teaching job with the perfect schedule (first hour prep, all ninth grade) and the perfect hours (I start my day after my boys start, and finish before they finish), I knew that God was involved. The words of Paul in Philippians 4:19 were ringing in my ear:

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

And He did. God met me where my ends didn't meet.


"God's Words For US" from Cecelia Lester

Worship

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Biography Information:
I'm a preacher's kid, pastor's wife, and southern belle who married a Southern California boy. Can you say 'culture clash?' Scott and I have four boys - Max, Mark, Jackson, and Grant who keep us busy with homework and sports.

Scott and I have been married 22 years and currently live in Northern California where we are beginning year five as church planters. I also teach 12th grade English and love it.

I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime at melissa.g.mathews@gmail.com
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