Sweat poured down my face and back. Turquoise water below shimmered in the mid-day sun, cool, calm, beckoning me to take one more step. The sun baked my shoulders as I peered over the edge, and took in a deep steadying breath. I can do this! Just one more step forward then gravity would take control....
Then I glanced back at the growing line of kids waiting for their turn to jump and my heart joined forces with my fledgling brevity and they ran the other way. Taking the hint, I stepped aside and let the kids have their turn.
I have a terrible fear of heights. Stepping off that ledge, despite the screeches of laughter from children a quarter of my age, was simply the most irrational thing I could possibly do. For two days I tried. I coaxed, scolded, ordered myself to just do it! I tried jumping off lower ledges and working my way up. But whenever I stood at the very top, I couldn't take that leap.
Funny how many ledges we face in our lives.
It's humbling to think of all the times I've needed to step out in faith and couldn't.
We love our comfy, safe cushions. Linus with his blanket. Peter Pan and his ragged Teddy. That thing- whatever it is- that we feel gives us security and peace of mind. That keeps us safe.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Prov. 3:5
I have a great job, but God is calling me to something higher. I've worked as a teachers aide for the past three years. During that time, I've attained a teaching certification and am now in the process of looking for a job. The hunt for a professional position has been difficult and beyond my usual comfort zone. As this year ends, and I've had to think about returning for another semester, I've had to come to terms with who am I now and how will I choose to see myself.
Do I still see myself as an aide? Or can I take that leap and dare to see and call myself a teacher now? Will I stay in this safe aide's position, or will I begin to move toward doing everything I can to become a professional teacher?
These thoughts warred with each other as I packed all my things at work into boxes.
Should I leave the boxes there to wait for my return next year?
I could always get them later if a job opens up. . .
This job is here if I need it. . . .
Unfortunately, it wont lead me on the path I need to be on to get to where I know I'm called to go.
...in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:4
Visions of the river...
clear, cool, ready to wash away the sweat and dirt sticking to me. All I had to do was jump in. That's all. Below, the kids cheer me on, telling me how much fun it is. Urging me to be brave. Telling me I could do it, it's easy.
I never did jump, sad to admit. Fear held me too firmly.
I don't want Fear to control my actions.
I want to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and trust that the Heavenly Father really does have my life in His hands. That He has good plans for me, plans to prosper and not bring harm.
I'm going to believe that.
I choose to not allow Fear to rule my decisions.
In the quiet classroom, I look at my boxes.
I'm not an aide anymore.
It's time to leave Egypt, as a friend said in a recent conversation.
I'm a teacher.
The wilderness is a scary place, but I'll keep my eyes on God and make sure I stay in His shadow.
One at a time, I move the boxes out to my car.