Second chances

Monday, April 1, 2013

Not only is my social media fast over but so is my short-lived spring break--just as the boys' is getting started.  Thankfully, this will be the last time we won't share this vacation. Tomorrow marks the last 10 weeks until I get to be in an actual classroom teaching.  I remember when I was contemplating this endeavor 3 years ago.  I knew I was being called to take this path but I honestly didn't think I could do it.  I've never been good at sticking with something from start to finish--or I simply don't start as to avoid the "not finishing" part.  Over the break, I had high hopes of all the tasks I was going to accomplish.  After day 2, I was already feeling burned out and realized I hadn't given myself time to rest.  As I looked at my list of house projects, I found myself paralyzed and overwhelmed.  Where was this coming from?  Why was it so hard for me to simply move forward?

As I contemplated why I was struggling, I came to a couple conclusions.  One, I hate wasting anything: time, money, energy, etc.  Oftentimes, I spend a lot of  hours perusing ideas online or in magazines, gathering supplies, choosing paint colors and buying materials only to have the project be a total disaster.  Because I can't get that time or money back, I beat myself up over all that was wasted. Second, I have believed that I have to get everything right the first time. If I don't think I will do it perfectly with the time and conditions set before me, I won't do it.  I put such high expectations on myself and then make excuses as to why it won't work. And yet, time still passes, whether I choose to move forward or not.

Suddenly, I realized something very profound that tied into what I was wrestling with.  Both of the books I chose to read over my break had the exact same theme: second chances.  I always say that the attribute of God I love the most is that He is a god of restoration.  And restoration is about second chances, and third, and fourth chances too!  The first book was a fictional story involving a couple who separated, their only child who chose a hard path after her parents' marriage dissolved, and the way God orchestrated the events of their lives to restore all their relationships.  The second one was about a popular Christian music artist whose first wife died 100 days after their wedding from ovarian cancer.  He endured pain greater than a young husband would ever expect and three years later, he was given a second chance at love and family.  He's now married with three beautiful children and a thriving music ministry. 

I don't have to get it right the first time.  Nothing is wrong with trying but when the result isn't what I hoped it would be, I don't have to let that stop me from taking risks with my future endeavors.  And I have to remind myself that if it had, I wouldn't be sitting here packing my bookbag and preparing for my final quarter of classes.  Three years ago, I remember saying to a very wise friend, "But I'll be 46 by the time I'm done."  To which she replied, "You can be 46 with a teaching certificate or not but you'll still be 46 in 3 years."  I love second chances!