Hills & Valleys

Unlike where I grew up outside Chicago, southern Indiana has vistas of rolling hills. As a runner, I know that racing downhill is actually more difficult, and more dangerous, than going uphill. Going downhill is frightening; you’re speeding downward, slightly losing control of your body, not quite knowing what to expect once you reach the bottom.

The past few months of my life have felt a lot like running hills.

Back in June, I sat down to make some difficult decisions with my fiance. I knew that in July I was coming to the end of my contract at Project Lead The Way, and that my lease was also going to be up on my house. On top of that, my fiance was to begin at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. After weighing the pros and cons, and after much prayer, we decided that I would begin my transition from Indianapolis to Louisville mid-July.

When that time arrived, I bid farewell to my co-workers and packed all my belongings in my car. Suddenly, I felt lost. I wasn’t currently working, didn’t have my own place to call home, and wasn’t going to be seeing my fiance as often. (We have chosen not to live together until after we are married in December.)

I started to feel like I was going downhill. Even little things seemed to come along just to try me more, including a hip injury that put me out of running for two months. My stress reliever had become a new source of stress!

Though I kept praying for God to guide me down the path laid out for me, I admit that I was skeptical of what he had in store. I tried to remind myself that I need to trust God not only when he sends blessings, but when he sends trials.

A week ago, I was feeling really down in the dumps. I’d moved in with my fiance’s family to be closer to Louisville, and was hoping to substitute teach in the district while continuing my job search, but I was still having difficulty with God’s direction. Then, last Thursday, I received a call.

The elementary school had seen my information at the district office and wanted to know if I would like a job as a Title I Instructional Assistant for this semester. They told me I would work part-time, Monday through Thursday, with Kindergarten, first grade and second grade students.

Though for a while I haven’t anticipated working in the educational system, I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity to serve children, a personal and professional goal of mine, and to develop my own skills while still searching for the next step in my career path.

O ye of little faith! God answered my prayers just in time. Before tumbling down into the valley, He lifted me to crest the next hill.

As all runners know, the only way to get stronger at navigating hills is to run them.

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