Life is a puzzle. Unless you have all the pieces it can be hard to find the right fit. Life can even be a little frustrating and challenging at times. There is always a missing piece. Depending on the individual, each missing piece can be infinite and sometimes extremely difficult to fit in place. My life has been just that – a puzzle. Taking risk daily to live better and be better always placed me back at the beginning, looking for the missing piece. Either I would watch my life unfold before me with beauty or see the total opposite. For two years I worked as a Substitute helping children with disabilities specifically in Special Education.
Driving voluntarily from school to school all over the district as needed. I was always the daily fill-in. I would find myself becoming attached to each child, educator and campus. Unfortunately, I had to remind myself that my position was just a Substitute teacher. I was the temporary placement in someone’s absence. I was just the missing piece… the fill in for the absence of the Educator. I never found balance. It became very hard mentally and physically.
Each day I had to deny myself, my personal career goals and dreams to be the missing piece as a – Substitute. It made me very humble. Some days I felt like a complete nobody and other days I felt like a healing Angel. I would pray to the Living God and ask why He placed me in this position… but He never removed me until my divine assignment was complete. He enlarged my schooling territories for two years. I began to help more children with disabilities, the deaf and the blind just like my daughter Felecity.
I found myself healing from the death of my daughter through being just a – Substitute. I went to college and achieved the highest education credentials possible which was so hard to do with small children. I climbed the ladder of career success became an Executive in a field that wasn’t my fit. I wrote several books and many freelance articles but it was my position as a Substitute that brought me purpose and life. I loved helping others but always felt out of place prior to becoming a Substitute. A position I never thought of pursuing.
Something was always missing in my life that a degree or money could not buy. A piece of my life puzzle was lost for years. I always felt out of place even in my personal life. Before my mom passed in 2017, we would talk about my place in life but she never had the answers. She would always tell me to keep going and one day I would find my true place in life. Caring for my daughter Felecity always gave me purpose and peace. My daughter was born disabled. She was blind, physically and mentally disabled, fed through a feeding tube with so many more developmental delays. She lived 3-years and brought me so much joy. After several years of her passing I never found healing. My missing piece of the puzzle to move to the next level in life for me was healing.
Voluntarily I opened a small nonprofit for five years to tutor kids with severe Autism which opened the door for me to become a Substitute for a local school district. Just being a Substitute allowed me to find peace and healing as I helped others find peace and healing in the Special Education community. I became the missing piece of someone else’s life puzzle. I was able to fill the holes in so many lives as a Substitute Teacher in Special Education. I’ve learned that life doesn’t come with a manual.
There is no instruction book to direct us on every step. We have to take each day like a puzzle. We have to find that fit. We have to let go of our plan and pursue the path the Living God has for our life. We have to find our way no matter how long it takes. Sometimes we will fail. Sometimes we will make mistakes. But we can never stop looking for the right fit in life. Just like playing a puzzle – the place where we belong – the mate we belong with – the career that fits our knowledge, skills and abilities…we can never quit trying. No matter how challenging it becomes to put each piece in the right place, don’t give up. Life is just that – a puzzle. Be patient and allow every piece of life puzzle to fall in the right place at the right time.
Dr. Lawanda Mobbs
The Author of the Amazon Novel “Differently Beautiful”