A Leap of Faith

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I have a question for you guys: Have you ever been through a long-term difficult experience? I’m not talking a rough eight hours on the job, a flu that kept you down for a week, a disappointing vacation, or a lost opportunity. I’m talking about an experience that involved you rebuilding one or more parts of your life–an experience that, through pain and victory, defined the way you think about the world today. Have you had an experience like that?
I have. Most of us have.
Another question–after the months of difficulty were over and you finally reached the other side, did you every feel…apprehensive? Almost like in one of those horror scenes where the main characters crouch in a bush after being chased by a man-eating monster. For a few moments, they look around, wide-eyed, and then their breathing starts to slow down and their hands stop shaking. They usually exchange a glance, and then mouth the words, “I think it’s gone.” This is followed by a crunch in the underbrush…and we all know what happens next.
After coming through a rough 2014, this year so far has been calm…too calm. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m slightly wary of the peace because it just seems like the silence before another storm. I’m afraid to get too settled in my bush because I can almost feel the monster breathing down my neck and I don’t want to be caught off guard this time. Also, even through the rough-and-tumble months of last year, there was something exhilarating about it. The suspense, the uncertainty, the waiting, the fighting–it all fueled some part of me that craves challenges like air. At the same time as I was hoping something wouldn’t happen, I was hoping that it would….
I got my wish.
Last night–after a 40-minute highway drive back from class, an Orange Julius in hand and Taylor Swift on my car stereo–I was pretty at peace with life. It had been a long day–8 hours at work, and then a class, and then a nap, and then a long drive, and then two more classes–but I love the thrill of being busy and the feeling at the end of the day that says the accomplishment was worthwhile. However, when I got home and checked my email, there was a note from the university I applied to about a month ago. In short words, they said, “We are still reviewing your application, but instead of accepting you right now, we want to wait until we get your spring semester final grades (which will be after the fall application deadline). However, we will likely still be accepting people if there is enough space…”
Apparently, because I did not take Precalculus (or another higher math above Algebra 2) in high school, my profile was incomplete. The advisor also noted that usually they would automatically deny my application. There would be no more chances–and because I can’t change my high school transcript, there would be no going back. Other people told me that if that was the case with this university, most other worthwhile colleges would say the same thing. I would be doomed.
In that moment, I saw myself working in fast food for years into the future…living at home forever…I was terrified.
However, when I contacted the advisor the next day, she told me that they could possibly make an exception for me. She told me that because my grades are good and I am a competitive applicant….that they would not automatically deny me, but there is no guarantee of my acceptance either. She told me to wait to submit my transcript again after graduation, in May, and maybe I would get in…..maybe….
She asked me to take a leap of faith.
That took me back to last year, when my now ex-boyfriend asked me to take a leap of faith and run into the unknown with him at my side….it took me back to last May, when I could feel God asking me to step away from what I wanted and trust that He knew best…it took me back to last July, when I didn’t have a job, money to pay for school, or any foreseeable future…it took me back even farther…to when my little brother was hospitalized to remove a tumor, when my grandpa had open heart surgery, when I was told that I’m pre-diabetic, when I was let go from a job, when I accepted Christ at the end of years of fighting Him….and in all those things I can hear Him say, “Take my hand…take this and walk with me…trust me…take a leap of faith…it will be okay in the end…”
A leap of faith….it reminded me of when I was sitting in Starbucks one day. An acquaintance from school saw me, said hi, and after walking away with his coffee, came back moments later and said, “I think God wants me to tell you something.”
“Oh?”
“Yeah. He told me that you are like Ruth. See, she had to walk away from everything she had ever known or loved, but she did it because she trusted God. I believe that God is going to call you out into the unknown with Him, and he wants you to be like Ruth…”
Now, whether you or I take that with a grain of salt or not, I don’t know. He did have some points though…God has continually, again and again, called me to step out of my comfort zone, into the unknown, and take a leap of faith. Sometimes I have taken my own “leaps” out of self-will and then He has had to lead me back to the right place…but in the end it has shown me that life itself is a leap of faith…one choice after the next…living day by day because you never know what is around the corner.
And as unexpected as my college situation is, and as much as I don’t know what else the future holds, that is what I must do…work my hardest, fight my longest, and then take a leap of faith and see where my feet land.
That’s what I plan to do, with His help.
What would you choose?

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