Monday, August 19, 2013

Rocks and Sand and Limbs of Trees

“It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.” ― Madeleine L'Engle

Two months ago I posted a blog about being in limbo. I was sure that I knew about how the journey would progress, but I was wrong.

Really wrong.

I was certain that at the end of Limbo was a teaching contract for a reduced schedule and coursework toward an M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership. I wrote the class proposals as asked. I waited. And waited. And finally, a few days before I had to pay for the college coursework, I finally asked.

And no. There will be no contract of any kind. I don't know all the reasons, and speculation just makes me anxious, so leave it at that. No class to teach of any kind. And with that, the M.Ed. program, too, because that program requires being in an actual classroom.

So Limbo ends just as uncomfortably as it began. I was out on a limb and it came crashing down. I have options. I can dwell on the hurt. I can conjure all kinds of reasons WHY there's no contract, even though my performance reviews have always been top notch and I know I am well respected by students, parents, and peers. That would be my natural inclination. I could take it personally. I could be angry. I could be bitter. I could rant and rage against the injustice of the situation and how it came about.

I could. And admittedly, I did. For a couple of days. It didn't make me feel better.

So, that limb removed from the tree of my life's journey, I began to look at some of the other branches nearby. It turns out that some of them are just beginning to bud in possibility. Kennesaw State University looked at my transcripts, years of experience, and my GRE scores and determined that, although I have been out of college for 20+ years, I meet the prerequisite requirements to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching, which also allows me to obtain a GA teaching certificate. (Interestingly, I wasn't required to take the GRE for the M.Ed program, but I took it anyway, just to see how I would do, and "just in case". Coincidence? Not likely.)

The MAT program begins in January, so I still had an empty fall to consider. On Sunday the Husband and I visited a new-to-us Sunday School class where we just happened to sit with a man who introduced me to the concept of MOOC classes, college courses offered on line and for free. He also directed me to more of the TED talks, these focused on the idea of a new concept in education that is beginning to gain momentum. This idea led to a discussion that is beginning to root itself in my head: earn the MAT, and then pursue a Ph.D in Education/Teaching with a focus on 21st century learning styles and curriculum paradigm shifts.

Of course, nothing is set in stone yet, although I have registered for one of the MOOC courses in on-line teaching. (Taking an on-line class about on-line teaching...anyone else find a little humor in this?) I have the job at the bakery, hopefully a few more photo shoots, and a little time to commit to art and home projects. It's all good. And, except for a couple of days in there, I am relatively unscathed by the fall from the limb of waiting.

Times like these show me that I truly am grounded on the Rock, and not depending on shifting sands to support me. I learn over and over again that my future is not in the hands or at the whims of people and their reassurances. My path may be covered over in sand from time to time, but underneath is a bedrock of faith that is true and deep and real. It cannot be blown around by the whims of circumstance, and it does not alter in its ultimate destination, no matter how often I get sidetracked along the way. My path is there, constant and sure. I may not know exactly which direction it turns next, but I trust my Guide to sweep aside the sand, show me the rock, and lead the way His has in store for me.

Photo by me, Gulf Shores 2013
Overlay "So True" by Kim Klassen


Joyce Harris said...

Much like the waves, challenges come and go. In and out. Times of life and circumstances change. But the tides still come twice a day, some high, some low. And God is in control of all of it. we've spoken about limbs before. And Rocks. I personally don't think your limb got broken and you didn't fall - but I think the winds and the pruning opened you up to new growth,new directions. His plans are always So much better in the end, even while hard to see during a thunderstorm. Blessings my friend.what an exciting wave you're about to ride.

Tammy said...

Beautiful image!! Glad the Rock never changes!! :)

Beverly said...

Beautifully written. The Rock is higher than we are, and far more secure. LOVE your Gulf Shores photo - so lovely!

Carol Heinz said...

All I can add is "AMEN" daughter. I love you!

Kelly said...

those TED talks are AMAZING!! Your image is beautiful and loved the honest post. visiting from KK

EarlK said...

Wonderful image. Beautiful.