a thousand words

There are a thousand words in my head to describe how I am feeling these days. The roller coaster ride continues – and it’s strange for me because I’m not normally a roller coaster person. Multiple times a day, it seems, I alternate between euphoria about returning to Tennessee and extreme sadness about leaving the girls and my friends here. There’s also a fair amount of anxiety thrown into the mix, as I’m currently searching for a job in Knoxville while living in Germany (not a simple task). I want to teach English at a Christian school, but although I’ve had a few leads, nothing has materialized yet. So I don’t know whether to mentally prepare myself for a life of teaching or… a life of something else. Where will I work? Where will I live? What will my life look like in the fall? Right now, I don’t know. It’s a curious place to be, as it makes me feel – once again – as if I am standing on the edge of a cliff, about to jump off into the abyss. Or staring down the road I’m walking on, squinting into the ever-thickening fog that clouds my view. I’m excited by the possibilities but also scared of leaving what has become the familiar.

This time of transition brings back a rushing stream of memories from two years ago. In April 2006 I had been accepted to come to Black Forest and I was in the process of preparing mentally, practically, spiritually, and financially to take the plunge. I was filled with excitement and scared out of my wits. Kind of like now. Except now I have that experience behind me, and realizing God’s faithfulness through that transition increases my faith about this one. He will lead me where He wants me to go. I know that, deep down. It’s just the surface issues that toss me about and leave my circumstantial stability in tatters.

But this is what I learned before, and need to be reminded of again: stability isn’t in my circumstances. Stability isn’t in my routine, my belongings, my surroundings, my family (real family or dorm family). It isn’t in Tennessee or Black Forest Academy. It’s in God. Only.

I like to think that I maintain a level of control over my own life. Perhaps, in a way, I do. But it’s only the measure that God gives to me. At any time, the stability I feel in my surroundings can be pulled away. People come and go. Buildings burn. Economies rise and fall. They’re all transient.

The only person or thing or element in all the universe that stays the same – it’s God. The solid Rock. The cornerstone of humanity and the universe.

In times like these, when the earth shakes beneath my feet, I want to find that Rock and hold on tight.


One Response

  1. Well, if it’s Knoxville where you end up for the next stage, we’ll love having you back whatever work you find (and I hope it’s teaching!). I can’t wait to hear more of your experiences and see more of your photos first hand, even if you get back several months before I do. By then you and Eva will have some shared experiences to tell me about. And I’m so glad you decided to go to BFA two years ago and took the plunge that turned into such a good/growing experience. You’ve been able to encourage and love so many girls there, made new friends among the staff, travelled with many different people (including your family), learned more about yourself, and been in a school setting getting almost a parent’s view of student life/routines which will certainly be useful if you do end up teaching back in the States.

    I loved the photos of the Jewish cemetery and the kids reading. I’m sure sepia and b/w added a bit of atmosphere, but what a cemetery! All the gravestones piled up like that is sad, as if a whole bunch of stories have gotten jumbled up together or lost.

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