November 4, 2015

Finally - Moving On!

It is Wednesday, and I am sitting in my usual spot on the third floor of the library at GCU. I am looking out the window at the cloudy skies of central Phoenix, and I am thinking to myself how blessed I am to be here today. I have struggled coming to terms with my life, where I am today, and where I will be headed tomorrow, and throughout the past six or seven weeks, my focus has been consumed by the fact that so much of my life is still unknown. I mean, I simply do not know what tomorrow will bring. However, I do know the One who holds all my tomorrows, and I know that I can trust Him, rely upon Him, and rest in Him. My faith rest securely in the One who knows everything, and in the unlimited power He holds. He is good, He is God, and I rest in His sufficiency this good, good day.

God is good. I cannot explain why I feel the way I do today, but I feel good, so much better than I did previously this week. In fact, I feel so good that I think I can say that I am ready to go, to get moving, and to walk through that open door of opportunity the Lord has for me. Yes, I feel ready to let go of the past, embrace the moment, and trust the future to the Lord. I have stressed, striven, and struggled to make sense of all the details, the choices, and finally, I have decided that the best thing for me to do is just get moving, to start walking, and to stop fretting, and to start following the Lord as He leads me on. It is a good thing, really it is, and it feels good to finally be choosing a path instead of staring out as if they were invisible to me.

So what does this mean to me today? Well, it simply means that I am ready to tackle the work the Lord has for me, and that means, finishing my courses at Regent, completing my exams, and graduating with my PhD. Furthermore, it means that I am ready to accept the path of faith versus the path of reason, and in that way, my mind can rest, really rest. Let me explain...

As I walked across campus this morning, I realized that my struggles over the past couple months have been the result of a crisis of faith. You see, while my faith in the Lord hasn't wavered, my application of that faith has. In fact, the application of faith, the working of it and the manifestation of it has taken a back seat to my reasoning and rationale. My reasoning, logic, and ability to use this skill has always been keen, and I rely on my judgment, my ability to critical analyze situations and circumstances. Yet, at this time, my reason failed me, and I was confronted with a faith moment, a moment when I had to choose faith or reason before I could make a move, before I could move on. I cannot tell you how I have suffered while I tried to reason and rationalize my choices, my way, and come to grips with the inconsistencies I was experiencing. I struggled hardest when I tried to analyze my path, and to determine the best way to go, when in truth, there was no best way. As I came to the final conclusion, I spiraled into this moment where I was lost, absolutely lost, and where I felt so alone. I realized right then that something was wrong, but I wasn't able to figure it out -- that is -- until today.

Yes, as I walked out into the cold, windy, and rainy morning, I looked around me and I realized that I am right where the Lord desires me to be. Teaching for me makes no sense. It is not the "best" choice practically speaking nor is it the best option that "fits" my personality and my abilities. No, this realization came to me in a flash, a moment when I received clarity, and when I was finally able to see the truth of it all. My decision to remain where I am is not based on any reason. My decision isn't based on a logical interpretation or a deep cause analysis. There is no logic in it, and in fact, it really doesn't make any good sense at all. Yet, my heart is happy, and my mind is at rest.

How can this be? How can it be so?

Simply, it is so because remaining in this profession as a teacher is an act of faith. I have no hope of securing a full-time position. I have no security in benefits, and I surely have a lack of income when it comes to adjunct work -- but -- what I have in abundance is a deep reliance upon the Lord for all my needs, all my needs (spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical). I have everything in Him, and nothing in me, and that folks, is what matters most. In some ways, it is what is BEST, and it is the thing I asked for, prayed for, and begged the Lord to provide. He is faithful, and He provided me with an answer to my deepest, most sincere desire. He is good, so very good to me.

What does this mean for me now?

Really, it just means that I am where I am because He desires it to be so, and until He moves me, I am to stay put and do the work He has for me today. And, what is this work? Well, for now, it is to teach English AND Communication, and to remain in this way until the Lord tells me to do something else. I don't know where I will find a full-time job, but I am reminded that where I end up or where the Lord moves me is up to Him and not to me. I have contracts set for Spring, and for that, I am thankful. I have work through April, 2016, and yes, I am grateful. If the Lord keeps me in Phoenix through next summer, then He will provide a way for me financially to survive. He is able to do more than what concerns me today, so I need not worry about tomorrows "manna." The Lord has provided enough for today, and I am content to rest in His provision. If I need more, surely He will provide it to me, surely He will show me what to do. Until He does, I will use the manna He has given today to meet the needs for today. He is good, so very good, so very, very good to me.

The pages of my life have turned today, and I am about to write a new chapter. I don't know where I will end up, or what kind of work I will do, but what I do know is that I am no longer trying to figure it out through reason. I have decided to follow my heart, and to stay focused on the Lord and His provision for me. My life choices may not make sense, but my heart feels content, happy, and at peace, and for that I am relieved. The anxiety has melted away, the pain, and the sorrow has lifted. I feel better today, and as a result, I can begin to think clearly once again.

As I walked upstairs to the library, I said to myself "This is what I am. I am a professor. I am now a professor, and there is nothing else I can be. I don't want to do anything else, and while I may still struggle to do this work, I will do my best to be the best professor I can be." The elevator is always so slow in this building so I had plenty of time to stand and think about those words. As I did, I heard my heart say to me "I don't want to do anything else. I don't want to be anything else."

I am here today blogging on this computer and thinking why I would want to do anything different. Yes, I do need the money of a full-time job, and I need the benefits for health, but is there a better job out there, a better job that lets you do the work I do every day? I think not. Sure there are jobs that pay more money, that offer a better chance for advancement, and a more assured path to retirement. But I am a scholar, a writer, and a teacher -- it is the only thing I have ever wanted to be -- and now I am all of the above. I have become the thing I set out to be, and as Amy Cuddy says "It's not fake it until you make it, but it is fake it until you become it!" I have become a professor, and that is what I am now. It is part of my identity, and I cannot see myself as anything other "thing" at this point in the game. I am what I am, and I am content to remain as such until the Lord chooses otherwise.

Today is a blessed day, a good day, and I am finally ready to move on. I let go of the worry, the anxiety, and the stress associated with the path I am on and I rest in the knowledge that the One who knows me best, who loves me most, and who holds all my tomorrows in His hand has this ALL figured out. He has it under control, and He is good. He is good.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for answering my prayer this morning, for showing me the truth of my situation, and for helping me to realize that I am right where I need to be, and that you are pleased with me. I may not be perfect, but in faith, you are made perfect in and through all my weakness, flaws and failures. You are in control, and in you I can rest with assurance that you will see me through my days, that you will bring me to fullness and completion as your word says, and you will never leave me to fend or figure things out on my own. I can trust you, Lord. I can rest in your security and provision, and I can know for sure that you are God, and as God, you have everything that concerns me, pertains to me, and is in my best interest worked out. May your Name be praised this day, may you receive all praise and honor, and may my life, my work, and my efforts give you glory. I ask all this now in your precious Name, Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah!

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