Presently, I find myself in a great life transition, having left a teaching career I found fulfilling and rewarding for over ten years. I moved back to an area I love, but had moved away from just over two years ago, without a new position or clear idea of what work I’ll be able to find in the future. To most outsiders, it must seem as though I’ve lost it, and I guess in a way, I have. The period preceding the decision was something of a “dark night of the soul”, in which I struggled to find a way to do the work before me well with the challenges presented by physical health, and grew sorrowful at the impact it seemed my poor teaching and unclear thinking were having on my students. For several years, it’s felt as though I’ve been physically pushing an invisible brick wall with every step, but have always been provided the strength to do so. Last fall, however, unmoving walls seemed to surround me on every side. As I cried out to God again and again for a way out, He continuously revealed to me “[my] walls are ever before [Him]” (Isaiah 49:16). As one friend commented, suddenly instead of trying to push out all the walls, a way was provided to go around and find a new path.
Though the decision was radical, I knew in the deepest parts of my soul it was necessary. I can’t fault God’s provision in providing a clear and open path, surrounded in His “light that followeth all my way” (George Matheson). God provided peace in placing the students in new and capable hands, worked out a thousand small details in moving to a place of greater support, and reminded me of the many friends willing to walk alongside me in the journey. Several of those friends offered me places to stay, and now here I am, sitting in a lovely studio apartment overlooking the San Juan Mountains, full of the love and light of this amazing family, full of the provenance of the Lord. Though no job has yet presented itself and in many ways I am searching, I know this is a precious opportunity to rest. My Shepherd has promised not to leave me in need of His abundance, companionship, direction, protection, provision, rest, restoration, and even satisfaction (Psalm 23). So I “praise the bridge that carried [me] over” (George Colman, the Younger), and with George Matheson, proclaim:
“O Light that foll’west all my way
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee
My heart restores its borrowed ray
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.”