“Lead Me Where You Want Me”
This phrase I scrawled onto the cover of my prayer journal last January has been my prayer for the last year in particular, but was in my heart long before I ever thought of going to Moody. This deep seeded prayer, a longing to know what the future might bring, was etched into my heart without me even knowing it. When I think of this simple prayer, I immediately think of my trusty old converse sneakers, (Bear with me now, this is not as random as it seems).
In high school, I lived for these shoes and have had multiple pairs over the years (in a variety of colours). I’ve said for the longest time that when I eventually get married, I will do so in Converse sneakers , (now I say this only half kidding). I wore them religiously as I moved from high school to college right up until my junior year at Moody. My current pair were purchased the summer before my sophomore year and when I see them, I see more than a pair of beat up old shoes.
I see evenings where I needed to wander through Old Town and Gold Coast to clear my mind from time to time.
I see the summer living in Bridgeport, walking to and from the bus and train, chasing my preschool and kindergarten students around the park, and being a part of the summer crew in the MBI Admissions office.
I see the six weeks teaching English in China, walking the streets of Beijing, teaching in a classroom in Jiayuguan, and trying to absorb as much as possible of the culture as possible, (While being completely overwhelmed and way out of my depth if I’m honest).
I see the casual Fridays while at Moody sitting in classes and working in the Admissions office, and dress down days throughout my student teaching at Tree of Life.
I see the progression of growth from the naïve and timid eighteen year old- the girl from Bellville, Ohio, who feared male authority figures and public speaking. The girl who thought and was taught that quietness and a desire to observe others was a flaw and a weakness. The girl who did not think she had what it took to be a teacher or that she could understand Biblical and Theological studies.
That girl who once was is no longer and has been replaced by one who has become confident and my not seek out public speaking, but is comfortable to do so if necessary. Who was mentored by a caring professor that taught her that male authority figures are not to be feared. Who now knows that the teaching that quietness and observation are weaknesses and flaws was a false teaching, and that these traits are God given strengths. Who now really is a teacher.
I hear the whisper of scripture echoing into the furthest depths of my being, the memory of verses held in my mind:
Isaiah 52:7- “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
(Yes I know the original context of the verse and that it also was prophesying about the coming Messiah, but especially since I am going into ministry. There can be present day application as far as I can say after studying pretty extensively #youknowyouwenttoBibleschoolwhen)
The words from my Father that carried me to Bible school, molded my heart to ministry in the first place, and lead into why I wrote this in the first place.
It has taken me some time to find the words to write this and actually let everything sink in, but I have signed a contract and will be a fulltime Jr. Kindergarten teacher at Pui Tak Christian School in Chicago for the 2018-2019 school year! I will finish my student teaching up on Monday and will be moving back to Chicago on April 23rd. I will start subbing for 2nd grade at Pui Tak April 30th and will be there until school lets out in June. From there, I will be teaching at Urban Christian Academy for the summer program. In between that, I will actually graduate from Moody (thanks be to God) on May 12th. I am so thankful for the journey the last four years have been, where God has me now, and for where He will be taking me in the future. I never imagined falling in love with ministry in the United States, let alone in Chicago, and I never thought I would actually be a teacher. But by the grace of God alone, I am where He wants me and where He wants me is more than I ever could have imagined. Prayers are very appreciated as I head into this next chapter! It is hard to really leave my family, my home church, and the quiet bliss that comes with Bellville and Ohio, but I am following God wherever He leads, as I have been praying for the majority of my life. Even as I go, my prayer remains, “Father, lead me where you want me.”