Here is post #3: This semester has really been a blessing so far. I am soooo glad to be finished with my graduate classes. My work is still keeping me busy, but it is so nice to have the burden of homework for classes over with. My pregnancy has gone very well up to this point, and Ana has really “kicked” her movements up a notch this week. I think it is because she is so much bigger now. I really cannot imagine my stomach stretching any more than it has, but I know it will have to. God is such an incredible designer.
Greg and I have had a very easy life so far. We could complain about always being busy (the American trap), and we have been. I have worked full-time while finishing my masters. Greg is in a very time consuming program full-time and still manages to fulfill his duties with La Iglesia de Cristo (I think he is Super Man sometimesJ). But aside from busyness, we have lived very comfortably, we know that the meals for the next month are taken care of, we have lived close enough to family and friends to drive to see them, and we have friends and mentors that support us here in Memphis.
I mentioned that I am enjoying this semester. I almost look at the next few months (less than that actually) as the ending to this chapter of our life. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. And I am to the point now that I know that God expects me to trust in Him. I guess I can say that I have always had trust in Him, but my faith will be tested this year.
First, we are having a baby girl close to March 26. I cannot tell you the indescribable feelings I have toward this little one that I can only feel within my womb. To conceptually understand that the love that Greg and I share created such a being is far beyond my comprehension. I have heard that children will rock our world, and that makes a lot of sense. So there is excitement and also the apprehension of “the unknown” that frightens me just a little bit in having the responsibility to raise a child.
Second, because of this baby and our plans to do mission work, I will not be teaching next school year. In a way, I am retiring. I love teaching. Some would say to love your job is to know that God gave you the gift set to do the job. I am confident in this. I see my job in the public school as a ministry, and I enjoy the challenge of improving “my game” each year. I have really felt sad about leaving this job behind. In a way, it seems that that the time I have invested in this position is all for nothing. I know this is not totally true, but it makes me sad. As much as I have always desired to be a mother, I never imagined that the “career woman dreams” would be so tempting in my mind. In a sense, school teaching is a big part of my identity right now, and it will be interesting to see how I struggle and deal with letting that chapter of my early life go. Will I ever teach again? Of course I will, but for this time (the beginning years of Ana’s life and any siblings that follow) my role is now mother—which is an adjustment.
Third, we are on the “tons of fun” train to fundraising. I hate that word. I do not enjoy asking people for money. I understand what it is about, but it is not a very fun process. I have already been taught a lot. I won’t ramble too much, but I do want to share one major idea. Our team is traveling to a church this coming weekend that could possibly support the entire team—ideal. It is very easy to look at this interview as a time that we must impress the judges. I reflected to Greg the other night that I have decided not to have this mentality. Yes, in a way we must be impressive, but it is wrong to give this impression from where we are as mere humans. They should be impressed with what God is capable of doing through us. I am totally placing this in my creator’s hands. He is the reason we are going in the first place. If it is His will and I am trying my best to follow that will, things will happen. If not, I have prayed that he clearly steers me in a different direction. I recently heard in a class that I am auditing at the grad school that God said he would be a lamp unto our feet. Not a spotlight showing the miles ahead, a lamp. We can really only make out the few steps ahead of ourselves. I really think that if God were to spotlight our path, we may not believe he could do it. We can only handle a few steps at a time. The point is he is still the one leading. Where will we end up, I don’t know. The lamp is not very bright right now.
The third change definitely leads to the fourth big change. Our house lease ends in late April. Greg is not even done with school yet (I don’t know what we were thinking when we agreed to that timeline). We do not know what we will do for that time. When Greg is finished with school here, we do not know where we will live. It is a few months away, but when the time gets closer, I want to be able to continue to trust. I am a details-oriented person, so not knowing where I will be three months from now, is a little bit scary. We will have a brand new baby, I am quitting my job (which is our main source of income), and we have plans to go to Peru but not all of our support. That is the story right now. It could all be crystal clear in a matter of weeks. I don’t know if I will learn my lesson of trust if that happens though.
God is amazing. He gave us his word so that we can read the stories of his provision and guidance to his people throughout time. I am one of his people and his story continues. If anyone reads this post, I have become longwinded like Greg;), hear me say this: God is my provider. He teaches me in ways that are hard to understand sometimes. I want to be his follower no matter where that takes me. I guess I may choose to post again after the next few months. The journey is about to get very exciting ahead. All I can do is take his hand and be willing to trust his guidance. I guess I’ll have to see where this lamp shines…