I probably picked a million different words to title this post because to no surprise the side effects of my regular indecisiveness and swirling emotional character are currently in full swing. In my “ideal life” I would routinely wake up with the sun as the day is beginning (Dad, you can go ahead and laugh) while having a cream & sugar filled Rae Dunn ‘good morning’ mug of coffee as I have quiet time with the Lord and reflect through writing. Unfortunately my reality tells a different story starting with the true fact that I could sleep like it’s an olympic sport along with the whole wife, MOM, teacher and coach mixture, so here I am writing my first post in two years.
In all seriousness, when I get the chance to take a breath, reflect and write (notice the time) it usually is when my heart is experiencing something that I’d note as a defining moment. A lot has happened in two years, don’t panic I’ll spare you the recap, and in light of being completely vulnerable a huge part of me feels defensive to let anyone know I’m yet again stepping into another season of change. I’ve wrestled with insecurity, worry (surprise), confusion and mainly trust over the past month or so and have reinforced the strong truth that I am a gold medalist over analyzer. Why is it extremely difficult to wade through the waters of discovering God’s plan for my life? If I was a betting woman I’d venture to say that I am not the only who has asked this question over and over and over and over again. It has become clear in my search that this difficulty comes with the lack of full knowledge and control of what happens next when we decide to trust the Lord fully with our life decisions. You see for the last five years I have been a school teacher and coach. I can tell you my heart jumps for joy when I go down the school supply aisle. I remember lining up different stuffed animals to be my students and giving them some type of differentiated lesson (I’m sure of it) on the alphabet and I cannot express the deep love I have for coaching up any athlete where not only skills of the game are learned, but so are the life lessons like perseverance and determination. During student teaching I remember the dreams and plans I made for the long career ahead of me in education and those dreams and plans have evolved as today became my last day at school as Coach H.
It’s absolutely terrifying to step away from a career that I believed would later come to completion without pause and at my rewarded retirement. I never thought I would add to the short-lived years of teaching statistic, because I can list more than a million reasons of how rewarding teaching students has been for me and there are numerous reasons to continue teaching, BUT God’s plan is always greater and He knows the deep desires of our hearts. As much as math, sports and all of the “school breaks” are highlights, I must say that the opportunity to minister to young hearts freely about our Father, Jesus, and the Spirit, without certain parameters, is one dream I thought would never come along for me. Well, “nothing is impossible with God.” I have fervently prayed that whatever the circumstance I do my very best to follow where the Lord is leading and after many days of prayer for clarity it was made very evident that God has purposefully orchestrated a way for me to serve alongside the Church in Bentonville as their full time Associate Youth Minister starting mid July.
Now while I am beyond excited and honored for the chance to take on this new position, I am most definitely practicing trust by faith over fear for taking on a job that allows for a different impact and a unique set of possible challenges. Yes there are new unknowns that I will face, but what is faith without reliance on God when we are stretched beyond our comfort zones? Plus how cool is it that one of the main reasons I wanted to teach was to make an impact on kids and God is giving me another chance to do so in partnership with the hands and feet of His Church?! I am blown away by how the Lord has perfectly given me pieces of the puzzle that have played an intricate part in the big picture of His plan for me right now.
Leaving something behind and moving forward toward something new, even if exciting, does not come without some tough emotions. I will miss the special relationships I made within the school community; saying goodbye to co workers that I grew to know and love in just one short year and saying goodbye to students who are asking you to stay is super hard. Change is tough, but I am deeply grateful for the years I spent teaching at Sulphur Springs Middle School, Rains High School, Rains Junior High, and Kirksey Middle School.
In the words of one of America’a Greatest Teachers, Mr. Feeny, I pray that you know “I love you all. Class dismissed.”
(Please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors, I taught math.)