It’s just a little over three years ago that I first drove up into the PCS parking lot on a Thursday evening, just as the sun was beginning to set. I’d driven down from Edmonton that day, and five hours later, I was still trying to calm down my nerves for my upcoming interview – but it was the mountain view that finally did it. It was as if God were spreading his arm out wide saying, “Look at this! Just look! Isn’t it beautiful? What is a job interview, when you’ve got a panorama like this?”
Three years later, the view hasn’t changed, but a few circumstances have. In the last few months, my husband and I have had to make a lot of very important, very difficult decisions. Important, because they are life changing. Difficult, because they are made while being blindfolded.
Security is a very powerful thing. And it’s safe. It means that every morning I know that I still have my job to go to. It means that I can predict my finances overthe next several months. It means that when I walk through the doors at about 7:40 am every Monday through Thursday, I know exactly what is expected of me. But Trust and Faith aren’t about security. Or predictability. In fact, some may argue, it can take the form of the opposite: surrendering your plans, forfeiting your “safety”, closing your eyes and saying, “Okay, God, I’m ready. Catch me.”
I know that not everyone will have to pick up their things and change locations without knowing where they are. But I do think that everyone has to go through their own Spiritual Trust Falls, whatever they look like. More than likely, this isn’t the only one that my husband and I will have to take. But we do have to take this one. And it is time.
No, we don’t have an exact date that we are moving – but most likely, by the end of July.
No, we don’t have an exact location to which we are moving – but most likely, in the Camrose/Edmonton area.
No, we don’t have jobs lined up (as of yet) – but most likely, I will not be teaching.
For someone who has to plan out every 90 minutes in a daily schedule, that’s a pretty open-ended agenda. And admittedly, I’m overwhelmed. Scared. Nervous. I wish that I could just shut my eyes, clap my hands, and find myself six months from now, completely settled, comfortable, and safe. But I can’t. I’ve found myself desperately attempting to take hold of all the decisions so that I could do just that… but I can’t. It doesn’t work that way. We aren’t the ones in control.
But what I can do, is thank you. That teaching is like a roller coaster is probably the most overused and oversimplified metaphor, but it is valid. And through the ups and downs, I have had different members of the PCS community to help me through it.
To my Students:
You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me write late slips, and sometimes you make me frustrated beyond belief – but you also challenge me, intrigue me, and encourage me to be a Christ-like model in reflecting the words I teach with the actions I make, and the words that I speak. You are, after all, the foundational inspiration for why I am here today, and why I ever entered the doors in the first place. I have learned far more by (attempting to) teach you than I can every fully express. I will never forget your obsession with cowboy boots, your passion for the Flames, and your incessant use of the word “seen” incorrectly… Thank you.
To the Parents:
Sometimes we communicated, sometimes we didn’t; sometimes for positive student updates, sometimes for the opposite… but I saw you come to see your child play hockey, build boats, and walk across the stage. You encouraged your children, spoke upon their behalf, and cheered like crazy as they crossed the finish line… and you prayed for me as their teacher. Every day when you sent your children off to school, you trusted me to educate them, and instill a faith for the Lord in them. This is a tall order to fill, but for giving me this opportunity, Ithank you.
To the Staff:
It’s not every job where your colleagues are your friends, but this is one of them. You have encouraged me from day one, helping out, giving feedback, and providing hugs on both the good days and the tough days. You are all such gems in this world, and I cannot believe that I, and this community, have been so blessed to have you here to take on such important roles as teachers. May you never stop sharing your stories, having impromptu staff meetings in the hallways, or bringing delicious snacks every Thursday. Thank you.
To the Audience of Gala Dinners:
You were my hobby and my passion, and the reason I wouldn’t get enough sleep duringthe month of March, but for one day of every year, I was able to see community members face to face in a different context… and it was So. Much. Fun. I will truly miss this experience. Thank you.
And To my Faithful Saviour, Jesus Christ:
This job, this life – they are Nothing without You. When I got too busy with planning and marking, when I wanted to give up on anything challenging, when I didn’t know where to go, or who to turn to… You were there. And You are here. And You will be wherever it is that I go next. My eyes are closed. My arms are spread wide: “Look at this! Just look at it! Isn’t it beautiful? What are worries, when you’ve got a panorama like this?”
I’m ready. Catch me.