I was going to say I apologize for the length of this series- but I am not. There is significance in the details in my story. Before I completely dive in, I need to share some background… set the stage if you will.
A little over 2 years ago, I was an assistant principal at a large middle school. This middle school was also about an hour away from home. Between the hours required for my job and the commute, I was not home much during the week. Most nights I was lucky enough to be home to get my mini me to bed. I also worked hard (probably went above and beyond) on the weekends to make up the time missed. I didn’t take care of myself. In that craziness I was so blessed to have become part of a group, we now call the HEARD. These women have no idea the timing of the placement in my life. We met at school weekly (along with others) for devotionals and prayer. This group really encouraged my prayer life. I also started getting that tug to change course… you know (hopefully) what I am talking about. I prayed to be sure I wasn’t just giving up. I prayed for a sign that the ideas all of a sudden screaming in my head, that they were indeed the path I should take. Part of that was the blog and starting some form of bible study geared towards teachers and school employees. And when I say screaming in my head, I mean waking me up at night. I remember one day praying and journaling to please please give me a sign that I wasn’t crazy. I am so thankful today that I was prayer journaling at that time, because the next 3 days are a complete whirlwind. In 3 days time, a job was shared with me, I was interviewed, offered, and took this job. A job that would allow ME to parent my children 7 days a week- not just weekends. A job that would afford the time to work on the new ideas in my head. I had no idea how to accomplish those goals- I am a numbers girl. It involved so much writing. I also need to point out the significance of 3 days. This did not go unnoticed at the time. In 3 days, Jesus gave his life for us and then was rose to the heavens. How great is our God – in 3 days he cleared my path.
About a year and half ago… I was now settled in my new job, back in the classroom. I had no idea how drained I was. I was beginning to feel rested and finding joy. I loved the classroom- I never left because I didn’t. During this time, my husband was also promoted and took on managing an additional department. I was slowly finding balance. Finding rest. In the rest I realized how much I had neglected my marriage. In my previous job, the little time left I focused on home chores and our children. I tried to make up the moments missed. And now I was trying to pay back all the extra time my husband devoted to our house and children, while I was at work. It was his time to work on his career. I worked to find a new balance. I rested. Looking back, all while neglecting my marriage. To be fair – we were both neglecting our marriage. I began to realize that even when we were home together- we were apart- doing separate things. Dividing and conquering chores and childcare. We both had lost joy while together.
I prayed- somewhat. One of those – fix it Lord prayers. You know what I mean? I didn’t ask for guidance. I didn’t ask for wisdom. Just fix it. About a month after this realization, I couldn’t sleep. My heart hurt. I woke my husband and in his half a sleep state asked if he still wanted to be married. Did he want to be somewhere else? In his shock of these questions in the middle of the night- he got up. He assured me no he didn’t want to be anywhere else. My mind was slightly at ease, my heart was not. I could just feel it. Those answers were not the truth. I cried. I didn’t rest. I asked again before leaving for work and he answered he didn’t know. I cried and walked out to work. I have no idea how I made it through the day. (well yes I do- HIS strength not mine). For the next few days we cried, we held each other, we talked on the surface.
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4:35-40 (NIV)
So I tried to be still. I moved forward minute by minute focusing on my faith. I journaled. I prayed. I used music to praise him. I journaled. I prayed. I praised. I cried. I journaled. I prayed. I praised. I cried. I journaled. I prayed. And finally, on the third day – I slept. I rested.
… To be continued in Part 2: Release and Surrender
Songs that support me during these days: