August 26, 2015

Ready to Get Moving

It is Wednesday, and I am sitting in the coffee shop/lounge at GCU. Yeah, there is something wonderful about hanging out on a college campus. It is funny, but when I think about the times in my life when I felt my best, I would have to say that one of them was during my Junior-Senior year in college. I attended San Jose State University as a transfer student, and the 2.5 years I spent on campus was among my best memories. I was blessed to attend school with my best friend, Martha, who was enrolled in the same degree program. We had an identical schedule, which meant that with the exception of a few classes, we went to school together all 2.5 years. She was my study-buddy, and helped to make the entire experience something wonderful. We grew very close during those years, and we enjoyed all our courses -- mostly laughing, joking, and making fun of the stodgy old Profs we had. We also talked about our dreams and desires, our longings, and our hopes for our future.

Back then, I was married, and I was attending college on a "wish and a dream." My ex-husband wasn't supportive of my schooling, and he felt that it wasn't necessary for me to finish college. He never finished, and as he would say it, "college didn't help him get a job in sales." I desired to finish school because it was something I had promised to my parents. I had dropped out to get married, and to assuage their disappointment, I promised I would return to school and get my BA degree. In hindsight, I know now that this was a gift of the Lord. I wouldn't be where I am today -- completing my PhD had He not provided a way for me to go to school to finish my first degree program. God had a plan for my life, and even though I was walking in my own way back then, I was fulfilling the overall plan He had for me. I didn't know it, of course, other than the fact that I had this deep need to go to school, and then go on to graduate school. I also had this feeling that I was meant to teach college, and that I was supposed to go to graduate school. I didn't do that right away because my ex-husband wasn't interested in allowing me to continue on through school. He didn't want to pay for it, and he didn't want me to take any student loans. I gave up that "feeling" and I put it on the back burner of my life. The funny thing is that while I submitted to my husband's wishes, I never felt the desire to complete graduate study or to become a teacher wane. No, not in 17 years, did this desire fade. It simmered. It slowly remained warm until a time in the future when my life changed, I changed, and my focus on doing the Lord's work and His will changed. Yes, my life changed the day I chose to make His work my work, His will my will, and His way my way.

Ready to Get Moving

So today I sit here at GCU -- yes -- I sit here as a Professor of English and Communication. And even though I don't wear the title of Doctor, yet, I am a teacher at a major Christian university. It only took 20 years to get to where I was supposed to be, but here I am, and I made it. Yes, I made it. Now, I look to the future, to the next step in the process, to moving to where the Lord has a job for me. I am content with the teaching contracts I have here in Phoenix, but I know that this is not His final destination for me. He has a plan, and that plan includes a full-time teaching position. I am excited to see what He will do in the next 3-6-9 months, and to see how He intends to move me from where I am now to where He wants me to be. I am excited, and I am ready to get moving.

As I consider the path that I am on right now, one thing comes to mind, and that is that this journey has been difficult, has been a struggle, and has proven challenging. It is true -- I haven't had an easy life -- yet compared to others, I know that my life has been blessed. I mean, I did have almost 30 years of marriage, and I did have the pleasure and privilege of giving birth to a beautiful son. More so, I have been active in church ministry, and I have had the blessing of working with children and young people for nearly all that time. In short, my life, while challenging and at times very difficult, bore fruit. It wasn't dead, even though my life wasn't the best it could be. I did have a life that was not fraught with wars or famine or even terror, like many in this world. My life was not perfect, not painless, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I had the Lord, and because of my relationship with Him, albeit somewhat legalistic, I was under His banner of mercy and grace. And because of His grace, my life was protected in many ways from the evils of this world. It was sheltered, and I was kept safe. I still suffered, but that suffering was tempered by His great love. In essence, even though my life didn't turn out has I had hoped it would, it turned out far better than I could have ever expected. Let me explain...

In my Theology class this week, I was asked if my beliefs influenced my lifestyle. I shared that my beliefs did influence my lifestyle, The fact is that because of the transformative love of my Savior, my life resembles His life. I know that may seem arrogant in that my life is surely not sinless. What I mean is that as I am created in His image, my character is being conformed to be more life Him as I walk this path of life. Yes, the more time I spend with my Lord and Savior, the more I come to know Him, and as a result, I become like Him. This is my prayer, my hope, my praise -- that my life would be a reflection of His love and mercy. I want to be His hands and feet, and that means that I want to live my life in such a way that I am bringing honor and glory to His majestic name. He is worthy, so worthy to be praised.

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