In the last week of October, I had a decision to make. I thought I knew the right answer, and all the voices of Reason affirmed it. My heart, however, (and a lone dissenter) resisted. So began a wrestling match between my heart and my head that ended with my head exploding. It was a volcanic eruption whose vibrations shook worlds 8,000 miles away. An eruption whose heat and ash formed the seed of the hurricane now raging.
I decided not to renew my contract with my school without knowing what I will do next or where I will go. This is a first in my life. And, in the process of making the decision, almost every layer of my self has come into question: who am I, where do I belong, and what am I doing? Who am I if not teaching? If not in an international school? If not in Africa? In these last few weeks I have had to face specific failures in my relationships, in my professional purpose, and in honoring the God I claim. I have been seduced by a life that seems safe, stable, and secure. Over the years when my heart tried to speak up, I rejected it with Reason, turning a blind eye to the inherent instability of that life; to the compromises I have to make to hold on to it; to the ways in which the act of holding on undermines my core values. I have lived comfortably within the walls of my pride.
Even though I feel a profound peace about this decision to let go and launch into uncharted waters, there is still a hurricane of emotion raging around me. The grief over both present and impending loss is intense. The uncertainty of my health also tempts me to be anxious about the future.
Forgive me if I am being vague. There are many details to this experience that I am not prepared to share in a public space. May it suffice to say here that my soul cries out, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I!” (Psalm 61:2) These two feet are not strong enough to hold this ground.
Beautifully expressed, Lillis. Wrestling with life-changing decisions is painful. Despite the uncertainty ahead, you know you’ve survived harder battles. Best of luck in the next phase of your life & savor your remaining months in Jozy!
Love you Lillis and will be praying for you as you continue to wade through the waters of this next adventure!
Our prayers and thoughts go out to you, dear Lillis. Significant twists in the road may not make sense in the logic of the world’s eyes… but there are higher purposes that direct our coming and going. We understand this well. May God give you direction and wisdom in the right amounts, at the right times. Please stay in touch! And if the journey takes you to our corner of the globe, please know you have a place to rest your head. Blessings.
Lillis I’ll write later today I hope in a less public space. I feel God has dropped a few things on my heart to share – something of His love for you and His compassion but for now just adding to those thoughts from Psalm 61 – for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
Psalm 61:3-4 May He be you safe refuge, a fortress that is enemy free, a sanctuary of His presence and a place of shelter underneath His very wings.
Love, Hugs and Prayers for you. XX
Brilliant thought provoking verbiage:
-I have lived comfortably within the walls of my pride
-I have been seduced by a life that seems safe, stable, and secure.
-“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I!” (Psalm 61:2)
Maybe you were led to SoCal. Lots of private school teaching and writing opportunities here, good weather, your family etc. You would be a tremendous asset to the Mission Church and an ‘intelligent influence’ and biblical voice in our Mission Group. Maybe something to ‘muse and ruminate’ on?! (to utilize your vernacular)😀
Thanks to you for writing and to your Mom for introducing your blog to us. 🙏