A recent conversation with my friend contained an exchange in which I was encouraging him to trust the journey he was on, and his response that he did, and that he also believed that things worked out how they were supposed to work out.
Most of you have read about my fall from the sky, and how it affected my life, faith and relationships. I think many times things happen in our lives that only truly in hindsight are we allowed to see The Hand involved.
I had always wanted to teach. My skydiving accident came during College, Part One. As it became impossible to work and go to school fulltime, I changed directions, and began working with computers and accounting. After working 18 years as an accountant/controller (yes, I know, totally does not fit wit my personality), I decided to go back to school (“College, Part Two”), finish my degree and get my teaching credential. “The waters don’t part until your foot gets wet. Keep walking, and the waters will keep parting,” was the advice from my spiritual advisor.
Two months into the beginning of the journey, the company I had worked at for 18 years started to “belly up.” The owners asked me if I would stay through the end, which would probably be 6 months. Somehow that six months expanded to the year that it took for me to finish my bachelor’s degree. Waters still parting….
So, I had my bachelor’s degree, but no teaching credential, and no job. Again, no problem. Two small construction companies asked me to come in monthly to prepare their financial statements and check their books. A friend who owned an appliance repair business asked me to computerize her accounting system. After taking a test required by the State of California, I was now qualified to work as a substitute teacher. It wasn’t as much money as I was used to making, but it was somehow enough. Waters still parting….
I would be starting my final student teaching, which basically meant that I would be working as a teacher for three months, fulltime, FOR FREE! As if that weren’t enough pressure, my partner and husband of 20 years chose this moment to leave our marriage. His parting advice was, “Just go back to accounting. You’re a great accountant. You don’t have to be a teacher!”
So, there Erynn and I were: no job, no money/no financial support, no husband/father. Looking ahead, all I saw was a huge wave of water, towering over me. “Perhaps I should just turn around and go back,” I announced to the wall of water I suddenly realized was towering over me.
“Keep walking, and the waters will part,” came the response, as quiet as a whisper (yes, Kien, as quiet as an angel’s whisper.)
And so walk, I did. My baby sister financed my divorce and my parents supplemented my income. “Income” was earned by working afternoons, evenings and weekends doing accounting work for anyone I could find. Waters kept parting……
So I kept walking. Finished my teaching credential, picked up two additional credentials, got my dream job teaching, kept the house, putting daughter through college, and getting on with my life.
Only now as I reflect over my recent journey do I see how daunting the task, and how high that wall of water, was. All the time I was walking, my focus was in front of me and I merely had to concentrate on moving forward; not stopping, not looking back. I had faith that I would be able to take another step BECAUSE I had been able to take a step.
And so, just let me pass on the words from my spiritual advisor -- and that were whispered to me as encouragement -- and that have become part of me:
“The waters don’t part until your feet get wet. Keep walking, and the waters will keep parting.”