The focus of our next series is centered on Genesis 50:20.
The King James Version reads: But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
I like the Holman Christian Standard Bible’s translation:
“You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result–the survival of many people.”
I began my career in public education as a classroom teacher directly after graduating from college, and I was good at it. Prior to becoming a teacher, I toyed with the idea of going to law school. I wasn’t ready or prepared when I graduated undergrad, so I decided to teach while I took time to figure things out. Well, turns out that I really loved teaching and public education. After working for a year, I returned to school to get my Master’s of Education.
The beginning of my career was uneventful for the most part. I loved what I was doing; my students were achieving, and I had developed some close friendships. There was one, tiny, little thorn in my side though: my department chair. On the surface, she was a fun and helpful mentor who just wanted the best for her team of teachers and students. It turned out to only be a facade, and I found her to be indescribably mean and underhanded.
The truth was that she didn’t want anyone to do well, and she secretly thrived off of creating problems and manipulating situations. I had, for the most part, been able to continue to work with her because I realized after a while that it wasn’t me or any inadequacy I possessed. It was her and her need to feel grand by making others small.
When I came to this realization, the way I handled our encounters changed. I no longer got upset or panicked when she came to me with a complaint. I simply acknowledged and carried on. She hated I was not being sucked in to her drama and upset by it anymore. As a result of her mounting frustration over her lost ability to upset or stress me, after five years of working together, I was moved out of the department to a reading lab position that is usually reserved for those not as effective in the regular classroom or the veterans of the building who have “paid their dues.” It was counterproductive to what I was trying to accomplish long term…remember: I went back to school to get my Master’s after my first year in the classroom.
It was counterproductive to what we were trying to accomplish as a school, as a profession. Here it is we want our kids to do well and pass the state tests so that our schools can be deemed “effective”. (The high-stakes testing and accountability environment that exists today is a conversation for another day.) Yet, my principal moved me from a classroom teaching environment to an elective that no one valued. I had been extremely effective with all groups of students in that position. They needed me there, but my principal decided otherwise. I’m sure he was under pressure from the department chair. It felt like a setback. And that’s not to say the elective is not a necessary class, but I was young in my career and that kind of experience just doesn’t cut the mustard in a highly competitive promotion pool. Or so i thought……
I just about shouted thinking about this entire situation and how God knew the plans He had for me from the very beginning (Read more about my favorite verse: Jeremiah 29:11 here.) . He KNEW the plans so what she planned against me never had a chance to prevail. In fact, God meant it ALL for GOOD!!
Soon after I was told I was changing subjects, I became keenly aware of what that meant for my future. I couldn’t help but to imagine interviewing against math, science, and reading teachers with testing data to quantify their effectiveness. BUT…..GOD!!!!
The next year, we got a new principal, and I found favor with him. I made him aware of my intentions to advance, and he gave me every single opportunity to learn and grow my leadership skills. The change in position and leadership, came with a title. After the year started, I became the RtI Coordinator. The responsibilities of that role came with an extra “off” period, and that extra period gave me all the time I needed to be available to gain experiences that would prepare me for leadership.
The next two years were all about my growth and development. As a result of the change in assignment, I moved to the other side of the building from my former department chair, and although I was still teaching reading, I was not in her department anymore. I never had to see or speak with her. I was not longer impacted by her antics.
So yeah, God meant it for good. God meant it for good. GOD meant it for GOOD!!!!!!! He meant it for good to bring about the survival of me. He meant if for good to bring about the survival of you.