September 05, 2008

Roller Coaster

Many of our friends and family know that our big dream has always been to end up in Colorado at some point, whether during or after Ted's Air Force career. One job he has always wanted has been to teach at the U.S. Air Force Academy, from where he graduated in 1997. Though he has been in touch with the history department for a number of years, the timing has never seemed to work out with our assignment process.

So you can imagine the excitement when, early this summer, the announcement went out that USAFA was accepting applications for teaching positions. There were some requirements listed, such as already having a master's degree and being ready to PCS next summer, and Ted fit the bill for everything on the list. So he quickly began gathering the necessary paperwork to submit by the July 15 deadline. He did everything he could possibly do on his own and had papers ready for his commander to sign before we even left for our trip to Idaho at the end of June. Things were looking good.

Then came a time of testing as we waited...and waited...and waited for the last required signature. Without going into unnecessary details here, let's just say that the deadline came and went and we had no idea whether the signature had been acquired and forwarded on to the Air Force Personnel Center, despite Ted's near-frantic phone calls checking on the status of the situation.

About a week and a half after the deadline, when we had all but given up hope that his application package had even been submitted, he learned that not only had it been submitted, but everything was in order. Whew! One step down.

Next came some more waiting to learn whether Ted's career field would let him go for a different type of assignment. This process was scheduled to take the whole month of August. So we waited.

And Ted was ecstatic when someone from USAFA contacted him directly! They had received his information and really seemed to want him to come teach there next year! We hardly dared to imagine that this dream was coming true, but Ted got busy and had his commanders write the necessary letters of recommendation for him. In the process of talking with someone from USAFA on the phone, he even was told that USAFA wanted him to fly out for an interview during September! Though the Air Force wouldn't pay for his ticket, we decided we were definitely willing to pay for the expense, as an in-person interview seemed to all but guarantee Ted a teaching position.

Well. Apparently the Air Force entities have not learned to communicate with one another. Yesterday Ted received an email from the personnel center stating that his application was not being released for consideration. Thankfully Ted has a friend/contact at AFPC who informed him that the reason in his particular case was manning issues--meaning that his career field is unwilling to let him take a different assignment.

One small glimmer of hope remains, and that is the fact that the USAFA contact told Ted that they have some options to help Ted get out there regardless...but we don't know what all that entails, and of course at this point we are reluctant to invest in sending him to CO for an interview when it looks like the Air Force doesn't want him to go.

I'm not sure why God is leading us through all these ups and downs. We trust Him completely, knowing His plans and timing are perfect. I've prayed that God would pour out His favor on Ted--he has endured many trials related to his current job, and I would love to see him in a position that fully utilizes his talents and passions. (The family-friendly schedule wouldn't hurt, either!!) Regardless of what happens, we'll keep trusting the Lord...but we'd sure appreciate your prayers for patience and faith in the meantime!!


Ski said...

We'll keep Ted in our thought and prayers, we have to get him into the family business of teaching. :)

Bob and Claire said...

That is so hard. We had our own roller coaster while we waited for Bob's clearance to come through for this assignment. It was crazy! I hope you all do get out to USAFA--we make it out there somewhat regularly! : )

Amos said...

I'm sure it is tough, but having done all to stand, Stand in Faith, knowing that God will do the perfect thing for all of you. And know that we are in agreement with you!!