I am a very proud wife. My husband used to be a marketing manager. Now I am married to a qualified primary school teacher. Congratulations Andy! You did it! You had the courage to go back to uni after a 26 year break. You learnt the new computer way of learning and you didn’t mind being regarded as ‘the old student’.

For twenty years, Andy spent three hours a day commuting to a job he didn’t really enjoy. Knowing he was unhappy, I decided it was time to call upon St Joseph: “St Joseph please help! Andy needs work that is more rewarding and satisfying.”

The next thing we knew Andy was made redundant. Now that was not exactly what I had in mind. Yes, Andy no longer had to face a stressful and unenjoyable job but where was the satisfying and rewarding employment? Long, empty days at home with no income wasn’t exactly what I’d had in mind.

At first it felt very strange to Andy not to be going off each morning to a place of employment. It seemed like he’d lost his place in society. All the other fathers had somewhere to go each day and something to do. Andy didn’t.

There is no doubt that initially this was a worrying and anxious time. Would Andy get another job? Would we survive financially? What did the future hold? But we knew we had to trust God. Things would be OK.

Slowly we began to appreciate the fact that, for the first time in years, Andy had time to spend at home with the family. He could get involved with the homeschooling; he could join in with morning prayers instead of rushing out the door before everyone was up; he and I could take leisurely walks up to the village; he could linger around the lunch table enjoying a conversation. How many fathers ever have this opportunity? The only downside was money. But being without an income gave us new insights into the needs of the less fortunate.

Andy knew he had to do something about his situation so he applied for some marketing manager jobs but I could see his heart wasn’t really in it. I asked him what he’d really like to do if he could start all over again.

“Be a school teacher,” came the reply.

“Well, let’s investigate if you can go back to uni and get the necessary qualifications,” I encouraged.

Andy had a long and frustrating few months as he tried to gather all the paperwork he needed to apply to do a Masters of Teaching. Filling out forms is never easy. So many documents were required and had to be found. At times, it seemed an impossible task. Could God really want Andy to be a school teacher? Or was this just another silly idea?

Finally, in July 2009, a letter arrived in the post: “We’d like to offer you a place on the Masters of Teaching (primary) course. If you would like to accept…”

Like to accept? Andy yelled with delight. We all yelled with delight. Andy was no longer unemployed. He was a student and one day he’d be a teacher.

Yesterday, Andy gave his final university presentation. After 18 months of study all the hard work is over. He will graduate in several weeks time. Andy has a second chance at a career. He is eagerly looking forward to finding a position as a teacher, a satisfying and rewarding job.

So you see St Joseph did answer my prayer. We were a bit slow to realise this. We just sort of expected St Joseph to send the perfect job along in a straightforward manner. But of course, God knows Andy very well. Being a marketing manager wasn’t Andy’s perfect job. So finding similar work wasn’t the answer. And Andy would never have voluntarily given up his job in order to try something new. His job supported the family and the family has always come first. The job had to be taken away before Andy could consider heading out in a new direction.

A few months ago, a friend was asking if it would be difficult for Andy to get work once he was qualified. I replied that we believed if God had directed Andy this far, we could trust there’d be work at the end of all the study.

“I’ve been praying to St Joseph again,” I announced. “I’ve been praying for a good teaching position for Andy. There is no doubt he’ll get a job.”

Then I stopped and thought for a moment. I was remembering the story of St Joseph’s sofa. (See Post: St Joseph's Sofa, 31st October 2010) “Oh, no!” I said, “Perhaps I haven’t been specific enough. Andy might get the perfect job but what if the job isn’t near home? I don’t really want to move house!”

I am sitting here on my St Joseph’s sofa in my St Joseph’s dream house and I am hoping St Joseph took note of my amended prayer: “Please St Joseph, could you pray for a good, rewarding and satisfying  position for Andy? He wants to make a difference in children's lives. I know he'll make a tremendous teacher. And please St Joseph, could the job be close to home?"
I wonder if my prayer will be answered in the way I'd like. Or perhaps we have more surprises in store for us. Life is often difficult. Sometimes it never goes the way we hope or expect. But we have learnt that if we have the courage to trust God and leave Him in control, He can do spectacular things.

If you need a new direction try praying to St Joseph. But be warned: your prayers might not be answered the way you expect . Hold on tight, keep trusting and God will take you places you'd never imagined possible.

I’d like to thank all our friends who have supported us over the last couple of years. Special thanks to Lee and George: without your encouragement and example we’d never have investigated the possibilities. We’d just have thought our dream was another silly idea.

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