This pictures pretty much sums up how I felt headed to my first day of work last week.
Moving to Baton Rouge, I decided I wanted to work as a substitute teacher for my part-time job. Nothing too scary about that, just a room full of 8-year-olds whose opinion of you doesn’t matter all that much. You might say “hello” or “goodbye” to other teachers or chat for a bit in the teachers lounge, but if things get awkward or you don’t quite fit in, all you have to do is avoid accepting a sub job at that school for a while. After all, I love teaching, I’d make good money and I could just reach out to college students when school got out around 3pm. It was a good plan.
But God had something better. Scarier, but better.
The idea to apply at The Chimes, one of the most popular restaurants in town and right on the edge of campus, popped into my head out of the blue. I had already applied to a couple of schools and was excited about being a sub. However, Blake and I thought the idea could be from God, so I applied to be a hostess and make minimum wage. Twenty four hours later, I was hired. Next thing I know, I am in an entirely different world.
People in Waco say there is a “Baylor Bubble.” They are correct. And Baton Rouge is the giant finger that popped the bubble for me. All the other hostesses at The Chimes are girls that go to LSU and my day consists of 6-8 hours of talking to them, while seating tables in between. And when I say talking, I really mean listening. They don’t really talk to me much yet. Just to each other while I’m standing right there. I don’t blame them though. After all, all they really know about me is that I’m 24, I’m married and that I moved here to start a church. Yeah, that makes me weird. Not to mention that when the conversation turns to getting drunk, doing drugs and living with their boyfriends, I don’t have tons to add to the conversation. These conversations happen regularly throughout the day and are usually accompanied by a variety of cuss words.
And one more thing…I love it there. Although I am still nervous and feel pretty insecure every time I drive to work, and although I feel like a permanent outsider during the day, there is no place I’d rather be. I love how real and honest the girls are. There is no pretending you have it all together. There is no faking a relationship with God. There is no bubble. I am honored that God trusted me with these people. He trusted me to love them like He does and to show them there is another way to live. I want to be the most kind and loving person they have ever met. I want to know their stories and know their lives. And I can’t wait to tell them that once upon a time, I used to live a life a lot like theirs.