Pearls and Dreams
A year ago last June, I took a class called "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat" based on the book by John Orteg.
During the class, my pastor took his yearly journey to Anderson, Indiana to the Church of God's version of Mecca (sorry, bad joke). He needed someone to take his class as a substitute. My dear friend Ronda, who is a natural teacher, and would be the natural sub, was out of the class because her mother had died. No one else agreed. One lady was visiting. One lady was very shy, the other, her husband was even shier ... and I the other members were hit and miss, as well as absent that night. It fell, to me. My pastor reminded me that my previous classes spiritual testing showed 'teacher' in the waiting gifts. Personally ... I thought that it was an insane concept ... how it got in the waiting category ... was beyond me ...
I agreed. I swore he only gave me the book because was left with no other choice. The next Tuesday night, I was literally sleepless. My husband and children went fishing all night. I was home alone ... all night ... all sleepless night. At 3 am, I was awake ..and emailing my pastor's wife in Anderson saying that it was crazy that her husband had left me to do this task!
The visitor to our church that summer .. a pastor's wife. The shy couple, Bible College graduates. My friend (who would be back by then) was also a Bible college graduate. The couples that were in and out of the class as they could be there ... Bible college graduates. ME? Not only have I never been to Bible college, but I have only 26 college CREDITS of ANY college. Much less BIBLE college. I'm a nothing ... a stay at home, disabled, bottom of the social totem pole nobody who's going to be teaching a class of pastor's daughters, pastor's wives ... Bible college graduates!
I FREAKED out and panicked all night.
I went into church and went up to the classroom. A young girl was brought into the class, young woman actually. The girl was visiting our church having been referred by a pastor of another church. She'd grown up in a nearby town but didn't know anyone. She was unassuming and I was relieved. I wasn't going to be the only "plain person" ..then she started to tell me her history. My friend Cindy, who wasn't going to be in the class, but knew my panic, and knew WHAT the panic was about was sitting there listening to this girl tell her story. She talked about moving from Pryor to college ... MACU ... the CHOG college here in Oklahoma ...gee thanks God ...another Bible college person!
I got through the night. I taught my class of Bible college graduates on the book ""If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat"" and I survived. I stepped out of the water, I sunk a bit in panic, but Jesus held me through the storm.
I swore I'd never teach again! It was an experience I was not willing to live through. I wanted back in my hole in the back of the music office. Anonymous ... let my testimony stick to unseen service and words on a page ... teaching is not for me!
So here I am. It's approaching June a year later. I'm teaching a Women's Sunday school class ..and I love it. I love my class. I don't know so much that I love the teaching, that still kind of unnerves me, but I love to research and write the material that I teach. I love to present the material ... I wish I could present it a little smoother than I do. But I see my class loving each other. We're still together after these 9 months ... and loving each other. A couple in the class have REALLY grown this year. One girl in particular has been so fun to watch. She's been a member of the church for longer than me and she's just BLOSSOMED. We've bonded and really enjoy each other.
Ok, so that's the women's class. But then ...
I volunteered to help with the youth group for the summer. "I'd like to put your teaching gift into practice, I've wanted to do that for a long time!" HUH? I will be teaching the Junior High for the summer.
I am also going to be going to the Junior & Senior High camp ...and do a Writer's Workshop for the State Student Leadership.
In 11 months, I've gone from being petrified of teaching ... to teaching. I don't remember taking that second step out of the boat!
I'm so glad that Jesus was with me!