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.