She exited the stage and I watched as she walked through the dark hallway that would give her passage to the foyer where she could meet her team for the book signing.
The applause and cheering brought me back to the finale of the night’s events. It was time for the door prizes. What “fun loving” woman didn’t like a good basket of goodies or a gift card for a guiltless splurge?
And there it was again. That nudging, uneasy feeling inside that I knew God was speaking to my heart. Now I wish it were a booming voice from above, because at least everyone else would have heard it too and I wouldn’t have to wonder if I was right about it. But, actually it’s just a heavy sense that if I don’t do what He’s asking, I’ll have regret later.
So I get up and try to sneak out the back, hoping to catch a moment with her before the book signing line forms.
Uh oh; Road block.
“I will not let this deter me,” I say to myself! And I give a sweet smile to the 4 year old who has just popped up out of nowhere at the end of my empty row.
I skillfully maneuver the final few feet to freedom. Standing up tall, I stride to the foyer and each step feels heavier as I weigh the words I will use.
How will I even begin?
I near the table and figure to myself “might as well get this over with so I can go home…”
Target in sight!
She has her back to me, but as she turns, books in hand, to continue her work, she stops in surprise. Both of us wide eyed, we stand face to face; “this is silly,” I think.
So I get it over with. I wish I could say that I confidently stuck out my hand and introduced myself, but in hindsight, I think I beat around the bush and said something like, “Umm, this is kind of weird, and I’m not certain why, but I feel that God wants me to come talk to you…”
Nice, huh? Way to make a good impression! You want to be a writer. She’s a published writer. She has an amazing life story and you want to learn from her. Nice.
Gracious beyond measure, Kacey Van Norman; the beauty of her blue eyes invite me in contrast to the deep, dark hair that frames her face; I am captivated. So I stare.
She smiles and we introduce ourselves. Of course, I know her name. She is a licensed professional counselor, has authored the book Named by God, is on a national speaking tour, and serves full-time at a residential rescue home and school.
I sputter and continue,”…I recently quit my teaching job to follow my passion to write…,” when from somewhere behind her I hear two voices squeal in unison, “Math!”
Honestly. That’s all that was said. MATH.
Kasey and I just stare at each other and as she slowly forms this catlike grin, she asks, “Are you a math teacher?”
Now I can see them. The squealers have faces, lit with bright smiles and questioning eyes. There is a silence in the air, hanging, waiting…
And in that split second before I answer, it seems as if a thousand thoughts fly through my mind.
I contemplate how to answer their question, knowing it is an arrow, pulled back taught in the bow; it is ready for flight. It will for certain direct the path of this appointed moment.
I decided upon the truth. “Yes, I taught math for 8 years.”
After quite a few moments of laughter and confirmation, it comes to my attention that the math teacher at their residential school, Still Creek Ranch, resigned that very day.
Was this the reason for my heavy feeling; my quick pulse and need to speak to her? Did I give up my teaching position to teach again?
“…for who can know the Lord’s thoughts?…” my memory verse of recent comes to mind (Romans 11:34).
The goosebumps are still fresh on my arms as the crowd of ladies exit and begin to form a line to meet this author, speaker, woman of inspiration. They are chatty and buzzing with excitement, ready for face time as she signs each copy of the book they hold close to their chest. And I step aside.
Emily, one of the “math” squealers, and a teacher and assistant at Restore Her, invites me to speak with the principal of the school and learn more about their residence programs. I schedule a visit following day.
Anxious for the morning, I wrestle with sleep. Why would I have this passion to write, this need to express and fulfill a purpose? I was certain I was on the right track. Is this job opportunity simply a distraction or part of the plan?
Or is it possible that I wouldn’t have considered it unless I was completely without employment? Mercy, I struggle with confusion.
I pray as I drift in and out of sleep. I pray before the day begins, “Lord, guide me.”
Up and ready for the gym long before the sun rises, I begin my day. But first, I must commit each day to God or I know from past experience that I will not have His blessings, wisdom and order in my day.
Today, I choose to open a book I’ve recently studied, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa TerKeurst. There are many passages that I had highlighted before and I am simply looking to remember what had so inspired me, hoping for God to soften my heart again to His purpose for my life.
And I read:
“…there may come a time at some point in your life when you will need to decide between your will and His.
One thing you can be assured of is that God has already worked out all the details of what your obedience will accomplish – and it is good. We need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. We should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss.”
Wow! I know that I do not want to miss God!
And my visit is great! I spend the entire morning with the Mandy, principal, at Still Creek Ranch school and it is as if we have always been friends. She is warm and honest and her passion for this school is sincere and genuine. It is a place where I could, honestly, be the teacher I have always dreamed of being… without the interruption of standardized testing and government format.
To meet a child face to face, heart to heart. To watch them learn and grow. To know that there will be stumbling and failure, but the successes will be so much more victorious.
There are moments of silence as we tour the school and daily interruptions require her attention. So I wait and ponder…
And here it is. My life’s application to…
Elisha’s third story from Greater by Steven Furtick (2 Kings 4:8-37). This is a really awesome series that our church has just finished and has had immediate applications in my life each and every week!
Now, I’m certainly no profit and can’t claim to be the wealthiest woman in town. I don’t have to take on the part of either of the characters in the story, but God can still teach me from their lives so that I can live mine more faithfully to Him.
The story in short, is that Elisha was a prophet of God who traveled throughout a certain region. And a wealthy woman knew of him and wanted him to come frequently to her “part of town” to bring favor from God. It was an upstanding relationship and she was a faithful married woma.n So she made a room for him in her home and sent word that he was welcome to stay anytime he chose.
Elisha was grateful and asked the woman how he could repay her, but she declined as she felt she had all she needed. But at his insistence, he came to the conclusion that he could be of help.
He called to her and claimed that within the next year, she would have a son. The woman was not happy with this promise and asked him not to make such claims and not to “mislead her.” I can only guess that she had not been able to have children and did not want to waste any more of her precious hope.
But, as promised, within a year, the wealthy woman gave birth to a son. The child grew and one day was in the field with his father when the son began to hold his head and cried in pain. He was sent to his mother, who held him for a time and then he died in her lap.
The woman put the boy on Elisha’s bed and immediately left to find Elisha for a miracle.
Upon seeing her, Elisha sent his servant to ask her if her son was well and she replied, “Everything is all right.”
Eventually, the boy was healed and life restored.
- She made room in her life for God.
- She had a lost hope that only God could revive.
- He brought her a new joy.
…but then it died.
- She placed her hope, by faith, in the room she made for God.
- And she moved forward proclaiming, in faith, “Everything is all right.”
- And God brought her joy back to life.
- I have made room in my life for God.
- I always desired to write, but felt the frustration of stress and lack of time stole my joy.
- He brought me a new dream and purpose when I had the freedom to quit my job to write.
…not death, but maybe dream “interrupted”…
- If I take this job teaching that God has so openly handed to me, in faith I can trust that He will either give me time, words and inspiration to write even while I teach, or later in my life when He purposes it best.
- But I will move forward proclaiming, in faith, “Everything is all right to say, ‘Yes’.”
- And I KNOW God will bring me joy, as He already has.
I am making room for God and will see His miracles in my life!