Sometimes you can’t read ahead

As one might expect, I’ve changed a lot over the years.

But especially in the way I read books.

For the longest time, I used to read the last page of a book before even beginning it. I know that’s very frowned upon by many people, but I just couldn’t help it. I wanted to know how things would end before I invested so much time and emotional energy into what I was reading. I wanted to be assured that I would get a happy ending.

I’ve gotten a lot better in recent years, especially when I became hooked on Michael Connelly books starring my main man, Harry Bosch. For those who don’t know, Harry Bosch is a total BA who can solve any case, and he always manages to escape near-death situations and come out the victor. Even though I’m normally not a huge fan of surprises, something about these books made me want to find out each piece of information right alongside Bosch and not spoil the ending. It’s still difficult at times, though, because I really want to know how things are going to pan out.

And this makes life quite a challenge.

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The unknown

I don’t exactly have the option of flipping to the last page of my book and finding out what’s going to happen. I mean, I can’t even turn to the next chapter, and that can be very frustrating at times. Like right now. I’ve been teaching high school for seven years now (I still can’t believe it’s been that long), but I’ve known since the end of last year that this would be my final year teaching. About a month ago, I turned in my resignation letter, which means this: Things just got real.

I’m not quite sure what I’m doing for my next step. I know what my ultimate goals are, but I also know that there is a transition period that has to occur before I get there. So I’m in this weird and awkward stage of life in which I feel constant chaos running through my mind. I keep wanting to flip the pages ahead, but I can’t. It’s a bit frightening, to be honest.

A lot of people have told me just to keep praying and trust that God will work it all out. I know these things–it’s just so much easier to say them than actually to live them out. But I have to take comfort in something that happened to me almost three months ago, when the Lord showed me just how BIG He truly is. I had a gun pulled on me, and I remember that moment far more often than I ever want to. I remember running away with all of the speed I could muster, the whole time wondering if I were about to know what it felt like to have a bullet in my back–a feeling I certainly didn’t want to experience. And I remember praying in that moment and hearing the Lord whisper, “Just keep running. I’ve got you covered.

Sometimes when I’m unnecessarily worrying about my future, that moment pops into my mind, and I hear that reassurance again: Just keep running. I’ve got you covered. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me that morning–if that guy was going to shoot me or catch up to me and rape me. All I knew was that God was with me. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me in life–I quit my job, because I feel like I’m being called elsewhere, yet I am unsure of what the next step is. But I do know that God is with me. He’s still got me covered.

I still wake up some mornings and have to run on the treadmill because of the fear that overtakes me from what happened that morning. But I am not going to quit running because of that experience. I definitely have days when I start to panic about the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing after this school year ends. But I’m not going to give up just because of the uncertainties and not knowing what’s on later pages in my story. I might have to take some alternative paths than I thought I would and hop on a treadmill or two, but I know I’ll get to where I need to be.

It’s really a good thing we don’t know what’s going to happen to us in the future, because that might change the way we live our lives. There’s a certain beauty in the unknown. For me, that means living a life of trust in Someone other than me–Lord knows I would completely screw things up. But His plans are bigger, and He has the power to do so much more than I could ever imagine. That’s scary, but it’s scary in a good way. It’s like running as fast as you can on a wing and a prayer that the assurance that you’re covered really is true.

And, without turning a single page ahead, I believe it’s completely true.

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