By: Stephanie Dresch.
I have always wanted to be a teacher.
Growing up, there were a few teachers that I looked up to greatly and each of them had one thing in common: they had a huge impact on their students’ lives. These teachers not only taught the curriculum, but they taught what it meant for one to follow their passion. I looked up to these teachers; I wanted to be like them, I wanted to really impact my students.
I was accepted into the Concurrent Education program at Queen’s University and I thought that my dreams were coming true! In 5 short years, I would have my teaching degree and I would be able to do what I’ve always wanted to do. However, I would soon find out that God had a different plan in mind.
In November of 2011, I went to the CCO recruitment event that was held on campus. I heard a staff member share his story about how he was planning on becoming a teacher after university, but instead, was called to work with CCO. I was very intrigued by his story since, I too, wanted to become a teacher. In hindsight, his story planted a seed in my mind.
That summer, I went on CCO’s Impact mission in Halifax and I learned what it meant to live and breathe as a missionary. I loved teaching about the love that God offers each person and how He wants to be in a relationship with us. Towards the end of the mission, I thought to myself, “I could to do this all the time.” Then quickly the thought of being on staff with CCO entered my mind. Just as quickly, I pushed that thought away. It was crazy and everyone knew that I wanted to be a high school teacher; that’s what I had been working towards since I was little.
But, as I entered my third year of university, the testimony I heard at the recruitment event the previous year tugged at my heart.
One night, I was praying and read this passage in Ephesians:
“… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit on wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…” (1:17-18).
In that moment, I realized that that little thought that started towards the end of my summer mission, wasn’t as crazy as I thought. I felt God calling me to something greater – to something I loved even more than the idea of being a high school teacher – to teach others the love and mercy that God has to personally offer each of us.
Over the next year, I saw how God took my previous desire to teach, and transform it into something new. He showed me that I could have an even greater impact on the lives of my students on campus. Through the Discovery studies that I led and the student executive that I was president of, God gave me many opportunities to impact the lives of the students I worked with. I witnessed the conversions of the women I led in Discovery and I saw how my executive members’ missionary hearts grew. This is what brought me the greatest joy! God showed me that being a CCO missionary was being a teacher! I could teach and share the personal relationship that God so desires to have with each of us and build up these students to be leaders on campus – to share this message with other students. I would get to teach what I loved most. I found a new desire to follow; the desire to see students come to encounter Jesus and know him personally.
I have always wanted to be a teacher… and now I am.