Many are familiar with the Old Testament Bible story of Jonah and the whale. Jonah is commanded by God to travel to Nineveh, and Jonah is to preach against the brutality and sin that is taking place there. Jonah 1:1-2 states ” The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai “GET UP”, go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because their evil has come up before me.” Verse 3, “Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish…” As soon as Jonah found out where he was going he fled, no hesitation, no second thought, he just flat out fled.
As we know from the Bible, Jonah was soon on a boat to Tarshish, and the boat was soon engulfed in a terrible storm. Knowing that he was fleeing the Lord’s presence and command Jonah offered himself up to be thrown overboard, after a short debate the other sailors happily agreed, and over the side of the boat Jonah went. Jonah is then swallowed up by a “great fish”, it is during his time on the inside that Jonah sought out God’s forgiveness, recognized His mercy, and vowed to fulfill the Lord’s command. While I wasn’t worried about a “great fish” coming and swallowing me whole for three days, I was struggling to let go of the direction our lives were moving. I put myself in the belly of a fish by not being willing to follow the plans God had laid out.
In February when I first applied for the job at Lakeside High School, I knew, I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew in my gut I was going to accept this position. While I didn’t physically flee, I began to work hard to try and create something out of nothing. I was trying to flee from God’s will, much like Jonah. Also like Jonah it happened about as quickly too. I applied for the job at Lakeside, and immediately started to work toward staying in Siloam. I wouldn’t let go, I was in my own boat trying hard to not get thrown overboard. Wouldn’t you know it as soon as I accepted that I would be leaving Siloam, as soon as I willingly acknowledged that this new position was clearly the one I needed to take and “jumped overboard” the seas calmed. The inner turmoil was gone, the inner peace was overwhelming.
I had stopped in the high school office one more time to ask if there was anything that could be done, I was clinging to empty hope that something would of worked out for me to remain, but it didn’t. I drove away from the high school in tears, not because I was sad about the outcome, all along I knew what it was going to come down to, I knew the storm wasn’t going to get any better and I had to offer myself to be thrown overboard. I had to fully accept in that moment, I would soon drive away from Siloam Springs High School for the last time. I pulled in my driveway sat for a few minutes accepting the change, and soon I felt better. I felt lighter, I physically felt myself accept I would be leaving Siloam Springs and began to embrace Lakeside High School.
Like Jonah I wanted to go somewhere comfortable, but a wise friend told me “comfortable is just that, it does not allow for growth.” He was right, I am meant to grow and develop spiritually as a Christian, physically as person, and professionally as an Athletic Trainer. Embracing the fact that this move was going to grow me in all these areas was hard, I didn’t want to, I wanted to stay in the town I had become comfortable in, but that’s not the plan. I am learning that letting go is harder than it seems, I am appreciating the time I have left. Appreciating that I have a town that I have grown to love and have called home for the past 6 years. Letting go is a process, it’s a process that sometimes catches you by surprise, but each time I let go, I grow.
So before I go to grow in Lakeside School District know that I couldn’t of made this move without the support of Siloam Springs, you all did a good job of helping me grow while I was here, now it’s time for me to go and do the same with others.