Day 36: Hope Volpe

1 Peter 5:10
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Looking back over the years, I recall countless stories in which the Lord has brought me through a difficult or unpredictable circumstance— and that’s putting it lightly. That’s why I shouldn’t be surprised in all that He continues to do in my life.
In 2021, I graduated with my B.S. in Elementary Education and the following school year I was able to secure a maternity leave position, which shortly after, turned into a tenure track position. The way things fell into place was not an accident.
At the time I was dating my now husband, Tyler, and by chance ended up in the same school district as him (different schools). My first year of teaching was incredible! I still to this day think back to the class that I had. That Fall I got engaged, and married the following spring. It was an amazing time in my life— things personally and professionally were all exceeding expectations.
Now married, Summer approached and Tyler decided to apply for a part-time position at Rutgers. Through some connections he had there, he was able to get an interview very quickly. We were not in need of the extra income; he simply had the desire to have this part-time work. Despite not feeling great about the interview, Tyler landed the job!
Fast-forward about 2 months, we found out that I was pregnant! Many emotions came over us, with the overarching ones being joy and excitement. I was now in my second year of teaching and by October, I was rapidly learning that the class that I had was not the same as the year prior. I had MAJOR behavioral issues with a few students in my room. These behaviors quickly escalated to desk flipping, fights breaking out, items being slammed and thrown, etc. Amongst the physical outbursts were disrespectful attitudes and words to myself, other students, and admin. The admin was constantly in my room and I couldn’t teach my class half of the time.
Despite many attempts to receive support, I was left hanging for months and things were not looking up. Mind you, this was all happening while I was pregnant, sick and my belly growing; becoming more at risk to the physical outbursts.
Valentine’s day 2023, we had a nice at-home dinner where I cried to my husband with all that was going on (definitely wasn’t the first time). I reached a breaking point. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally broken down. I was no longer 100% safe in my own classroom— neither was the baby I was carrying at the time. We had a big decision to make.
Regardless of my work situation, we felt it would be best for me to be a stay-at-home mom, and to make it workable so that I could be. Because this is what we ultimately wanted anyway, I resigned sooner than I had planned to; right after our Valentine’s Day conversation.
When I was finally released from my contract, (I had a 60-day contractual hold) I rested and set up our home for our baby before her July arrival. I was very quickly being restored from what had broken me down over time at my job.
We didn’t originally know that I would be a stay-at-home mom for sure. And we really did not know that I wouldn’t finish out the school year teaching. Regardless of what we thought or expected, God had a plan for us. He was the one who placed a secondary income in our laps through Tyler’s part-time work in advance. He is the one who guided our steps and decisions.
Our baby girl, Isla (rhymes with Lila), was born July 2023 and she brings so much joy to our lives. God was with us and our girl the whole time. We definitely could not have planned for any of this, and I’m glad we didn’t. God knew better and will always know better.
“Lord, I pray for Your wisdom and Your light to guide my every step. Cover me with Your peace and love continually. Help me to push aside my wants and expectations and give me a willingness to replace them with Yours. Amen.”

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