Operating Without a Safety Net
Do you ever feel as if you are at the crest of the hill on a huge roller coaster just waiting for gravity to take hold and throttle you towards the ground?
I hate roller coasters.
I, like many of you probably like the easy ride where I can see what’s coming and where I’m going. Have you ever swung from one trapeze bar to let get and fly to another? I haven’t done that. I broke my arm falling off a trapeze in 5th grade. I want to feel safe and comfortable. My life is like this.
A few months ago, I stepped out in faith onto that rollercoaster and resigned from my teaching job of 18 years. My comfortable teaching job. My comfortable paycheck. The calendar I could plan with. God was pushing me to open a coffee shop that served as a community center for my small town. God whirled and whooshed as He placed it on people’s hearts to become involved and donate items and funding to opening our shop. It was truly amazing! It still is. As I sit here in the shop during a moment of quiet, I look around and see all Christ has provided. This is not MY shop- this is HIS!
Even though, I’m human. In fact I’m a planner. I like to know what lies ahead. I like to feel safe by creating a schedule- MY schedule. Are you like me? God has been working on me- HARD. I am moving into unchartered territory. I don’t know where my paycheck (or if a paycheck) will come from. I don’t know if I will fail or look foolish in front of my community and my church body. I am in constant need of reminding that God has gotten me this far. He’s not going to leave me now.
And soooo many times, HE has sent me affirmation through strangers or music or goofy little things like crockpots. Yes- crockpots. I had a friend ask if we needed a crockpot for the shop and I told her to check back with me towards the end of the week. Literally 15 minutes later I was sitting in the next door hairdresser’s chair and she said there was a lady who had a crockpot for us. Instantly, I started laughing. She looked at me like I’d lost my mind (sometimes I wonder). I told her what had happened and she reminded me that God works it all out. And He does- over and over.
BUT- we (I) are just like the Israelites. God led them out of Egypt across the Red Sea. The RED SEA! With a fierce army chasing after them. Did they hold that close to the hearts and remember in gratitude God’s saving grace? Remember- they had also seen God plague Pharaoh again and again. Even so, they quickly forgot His provision for them.
For a little while they remembered. God reminded them over and over (much like He does me. They were thirsty. God provided water. They were hungry. God provided food. Did these miracles convince them to listen? Some of them. Some continued to try to do things on their own. Much like I do.
God is being patient with me. He’s working in me. I still freak out over stupid things. Fortunately, He has given me a supportive friends and network of friends that remind me (sometimes daily) that it’s not my timeline. God knows.
This week I get my final paycheck from my teaching job. We go to a single income family. But God didn’t get us this far to just leave us out to dry. For this planner, this worrier, this impatient, pushy person, I have to trust that God will give us what we need. Maybe not all we want but what we need. If you think of it (of all of us in this endeavor), say a little prayer for us. It’s only through Christ’s grace and provision that we have gotten this far. I’m trusting that He will see us through- without our safety net.