DISCLAIMER: Update emails are long when updates are sent out only every few months. Hopefully the frequency of messages will increase. Apologies to all the weary eyes out there...
I love roller coasters. The anticipation of waiting in line, the fearful excitement getting strapped in, the near-regret when the cars roll out...everything. As soon as the ride comes to a stop, I'm ready to get off and run to the back of the line and start all over again.
God's leading is like a roller coaster; the worst part is waiting in line. You know the ride is soon to come, but you have no ideas what drops, climbs, and turns there will be. All you can do is hear laughing and screaming (two quite different and frightening things); the feeling of doom is inevitable.
Faith is knowing that the straps & cams and nuts & bolts will hold, and that the apparently dangerous twists & turns are no more hazardous than a Sabbath afternoon drive. It's knowing that dips and climbs will take your breath away, but no harm will come of it. When you get off of the ride at the end, the only thing on your mind is how soon you can get back on and how many of your friends you can get to come with you.
I've been riding on a roller coaster for quite some time now. Just as in all other roller coasters, I didn't know how many/which ups & downs I would have. I had thought that the big, scary drop of my Student Missionary experience was already past, but that I suppose would have made the ride just too typical. My big drop came on Wednesday.
I called the missions chaplain at AU on Tuesday just because I hadn't heard anything about Tanzania recently. Since I'm working at camp, methods of contacting me have dwindled to about 1.5. The car climbs the hill...click, click, click. Sketchy internet connection, no cell service...a nightmare for anyone who's trying to help me on the other side. Click, click...I can see the parking lot from here. Anywho, the chaplain left me a message on my cell and the camp phone, and I was able to call her back on a friend's cell. When I finally get a hold of her....click, click, click, WHOOSH. My top three call choices have fallen through, including Tanzania. She asks if I'm willing to apply for a teaching call in the islands, where there is a great need. I agree in a dazed stupor, feeling the sickening weightlessness of the seemingly endless descent. The air has been let out of my balloon.
Fast-forward to the small rise coming up: After a few flurried emails and calls, I've applied for a Kindergarten/1st-3rd grade teaching position in Kosrae, an island in Micronesia, South Pacific. My application is now in the process of being approved, and to the best of my knowledge, will most likely be voted upon tomorrow (Tuesday). Lots and lotsa prayers are much appreciated. I'm now praying hard for my excitement and anticipation to return after a change in direction. I am sure that God is leading, but Jessica is a bit lost if she does not know where people can address their letters to her in the coming year. Please also pray that I can get as excited (if not more) as I was about Tanzania. I'm not sure how to prepare myself anymore, but I know that this ride has a pre-governed track, and though I might not know exactly where it's headed, the Conductor has already set it up.
Currently, the coaster is going a bit too wild for my taste, but I look forward to a few months from now when I'll be tugging on your shirt sleeve and begging you to come along for ride #2.