A Guest Post by Robin Helm
Never say never.
Nearly eight years ago, after seventeen years at that particular Christian school, I lost my teaching job. I had been teaching for twenty-seven years. It was as if I had lost my identity – comparable to dealing with the death of a loved one. I mourned for two years. I promised myself I’d never teach in school again.
However, I couldn’t just crawl into a hole and shut myself away. We needed my income, so I had to find a job.
During my college years as a music major, I taught piano lessons and played for voice lessons to make extra money. I was young and impatient, so teaching piano wasn’t much fun. I told myself that I wasn’t cut out to be a piano teacher.
The first full-time job I had after I finished college was as a bank teller. I hated it so much that I swore I’d never do it again.
God has a great sense of humor.
After three months of looking for a job, I finally accepted that a fifty-three year old woman with a degree in music wasn’t in great demand. A local credit union was willing to hire me, so I took a job as – you guessed it – a teller.
For the first time since I’d begun teaching, I had a job which was over when I left the building. I discovered many things to like about being a teller, and I was good at it. However, I didn’t find it to be challenging enough, so I began to write when I wasn’t at work. I wrote three books (The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy) during the three years I was there.
When I left the credit union, I accepted a part-time job as a music teacher in a local charter school. This is my fifth year there.
I continued to work as Associate in Music at my church, a part-time job I’d held for sixteen years or so. The Worship Pastor asked to see me, and during the meeting, suggested that I start a Music Academy. I took his suggestion and ran with it. I became the director of the Academy and hired piano, voice, guitar, drum, trumpet, flute, and organ teachers. I’m still the director, and I teach piano, flute, and organ. I love it. The older, more mellow me enjoys the challenge and joy of introducing students to their inner muse. Life’s funny, huh?
God had and has a purpose for me. I have battled IBS and microscopic colitis for forty-three years, and He has provided jobs for me that allowed for my health problems. All the things I said I’d never do again (teach school, be a teller, teach piano), I accepted and did well.
If I hadn’t been fired, I would never have written a book. It was too daunting a task, and I was simply too tired for my creative juices to flow. Now, I’ve written six books. I published my second series (Yours by Design: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours) in the past year.
I’m presently teaching music privately and at an elementary school, writing two new books, serving as Associate in Music, and director of a music academy. My husband and I have been married thirty-nine years. We have two married daughters, and the elder is ready to deliver our second granddaughter.
God is great, and life is good. Never give up.
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