The end of the school year is always a whirlwind for teachers, but I have mixed emotions this time around. I have been challenged more professionally, mentally, and spiritually this year than in any of my other years of teaching. I have found God in the challenges that came with relocating to Mississippi.
One of my sweet colleagues noticed I was a bit quieter and introspective today at lunch and commented, "Leslie, I can't imagine what you'd be like if you didn't have all these pressures on you. I wish you hadn't had to struggle with the transition." I assured her that they were more of a blessing to me than I could ever be to them (so true), but I was thankful for the struggles of the past year. It's important for me to remember where my strength and security resides. I wouldn't trade this year's challenges for anything.
School will be out in eight days. In eight days I will know if we're moving back to Florida or staying in Mississippi. My heart is torn over the possibilities. Not so long ago, I was missing our little house in Florida. I was missing our friends. I was missing our home church. I was missing the familiarity of our routine.
Nothing went smoothly when we moved here. We lost our beloved cat Jack. Our original housing plans fell through. We had one financial set back after the next with unexpected medical and mechanical bills. I searched for God where I couldn't make sense of things. He used the challenges to draw me to Him slowly. In the midst of the chaos, I found He was the only stable thing. Clinging to that security gave me great liberty and I came to love that which drew me to Him, good and bad.
Ten months later, I love teaching here. I love my colleagues. I love the community I serve. I love the possibilities I see for orphan ministry here. I love Mississippi. For quite some time I cried out and begged God to give us a way to stay. And then I considered the possibility that this calling to Mississippi was just for a season. Perhaps it has been a learning experience and a temporary bit of Utopia. I stopped asking to stay and started asking for His will to be done. I understand now that I will only find joy and security in His perfect will - and that is good enough for me.
So for those of you so inclined, please pray that God's will would be done in the next few days and that I will praise Him for it - whether that send us back to Florida or keeps us in Mississippi.
And whose trust is the LORD.
"For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.