September 30, 2016

Ready and Waiting

It is the last day of the month, and I am sitting here at my desk thinking how this entire year has just flown by. I mean, like "zippity-split" fast. It was this time last year when I was starting to prepare for my qualification exams. I was completing my last required course, "Theology of Communication," and I was enrolled as a teaching assistant in a doctoral "History of Communications" course. In all, I was super BUSY. I was teaching four classes at that time, and with all the papers and other projects, I was pretty well slammed the entire semester. I remember thinking that Fall 2015 was my most intensive semester to date.

Well, here I am now on the backside of that semester, and I can say that Fall 2016 is positioned to take the cake for "intensity." I am preparing my proposal (almost ready to defend it), and I am teaching five classes now (six in two weeks). Am I thoroughly crazy or what? Yes, I am teaching my little heart out all the while I am working on my dissertation. I have so much work planned for the second part of the semester, and unless the Lord does something BIG TIME, I am not even sure I will survive it all. In truth, I feel fine. Now, that is a weird statement to make, but it is the truth.

Honestly, I am telling the truth. I am slammed beyond slammed, and yet, I feel absolutely fine. I feel like this is nothing but "normal." It is really funny (ha ha), but just yesterday I thought about teaching 3 classes as a full-time faculty. As I was considering it, I heard myself say, "Lord, won't I be BORED teaching full-time with just three classes?" Yes, I mean it, sincerely. I am afraid that I will be bored if I don't teach more classes or go back to school. I am so used to working round the clock, and I admit it -- I love the pressure, the intensity, the demand. I love being SLAMMED.

I don't know why I feel the way I do, but perhaps it is because I am used to teaching large classes of freshman students. In fact, my spring courses at GCU each have 95 students in them -- and I picked them -- I really did. I could have chosen smaller classes, but I went right for the BIG ones. I guess the fact is that I am very comfortable with large classes. I prefer them, really, I do. And, not just for the money, I mean. I do get paid by the student, but still, I just like these big rooms. I like the feedback I get with 95 students versus 29. I guess I like that feeling of being ON in a big room. Oh, my goodness, what have you done to me, Lord?

I cannot believe that I really just said that, considering how I was plagued by fear of public speaking. Now, I am sitting here and writing that I really like being "out there," and well, that just shocks me. I guess the Lord is really having His way with me, know what I mean? If He has chosen for me to be comfortable with large groups, then so be it. I guess He must want me to learn how to be comfortable in front of audiences, so thanks be to God, He has put me in a position where I regularly teach (and preach) to groups of 50 or more. So thankful for His provision, so thankful for His mercy and His grace.

Oh, Lord, please continue to develop, refine, and prepare me for your work. Please help me to learn how to reach large audiences so I can be an effective minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please help me to learn how to teach large groups, preach the Word accurately and without error, and to minister en masse. I believe this is your will, so I ask Holy Spirit to give to me, grace me, with the skills and gifts I need so I can do this mighty and humbling work. I ask all this in the matchless and merciful Name of Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, Amen. Selah!

In Closing

Weird as it may be, I love what I do. Sure, there are days when I feel like an utter failure. I have days when I think, "Oh, did I blow that session." I solider on, though. I get up the next day and march on. I would love to be "on" all the time, you know, always winning, but there are good days and bad days, and some days, I just blow it big time. Still, the Lord is gracious to me. He covers me with His goodness, and in this way, I carry on. I carry on.

I am glad that it is Friday. I am glad that this is the last class, the wrap-up class for my essays in all three classes. Pretty much, I go today and walk my students through peer review. It is easy-breezy, and I am thankful that this is all I need to do. I am grateful for GCU's curriculum plan. It makes teaching Composition a real joy. I love teaching writing, and in truth, I love it more than I love teaching literature -- which is saying A LOT! I love literature, oh yes! But, there is something really satisfying about writing curriculum, and I really love the up/down aspect of teaching composition. I love that I teach content for three weeks, drafting and revising for two. I love the pattern, the repetition, and overall, the ease of teaching this subject. God is good to me, you know. He has made all this possible, and today, I humble and in my oh-so inarticulate way, say "thank you" to Him. He is so good to me, so very, very good to me.

As I close out this blog post, I am sitting here thinking to myself, "God is Good. He is so very good!" I think of all that could be right now, all the hardship, heartache, and headache that I could be embroiled in right now, and praise be to God, I am free. I am saved from all of that difficulty. I have zero problems right now, and while the little difficulty I face can be significant at times, in truth, my life is smooth, is good, is so even-keel right now. The Lord has made my path smooth. He has made a way for me, and it is a good way. He has opened doors and shown me exactly how to go. I stand here, ready and waiting to be set on the next course, the next adventure. I ask now, Lord, that you release me to go, to walk on, to experience this marvelous and magnificent life -- the life you have prepared, planned, and prospered me to walk in -- this good, good day.

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