Stuck Between God and Hard Place

So…God truly honored me by giving me the gift to skate again.  After being off the ice for more than 15 years…He gave it back to me.  And not only to skate, but to coach…which is beyond my wildest dreams.

figure skate abstract
figure skate abstract

I have loved every minute of teaching.  Okay, to be totally honest, I have probably loved like 80% of teaching.  The other 20% I could have done without, but that is the nature of the beast.  Those days when you have students who don’t want to listen, who want to argue with you, who think they know better than you.

There have been personalities that I have had to ignore.  People whom I would love to tell off, but that small still voice urges me not to.  Sigh, sometimes that small still voice speaks too much!

I have really struggled these last few months.  Trying to honor God while still trying to keep some semblance of calm.  There are so many things that I have told others that has been ignored…until it happens to them.  And then, all of a sudden, it’s an issue.  There are things that I have seen that I am not happy about, and yet still it happens and no one does a thing about it.  What do I know, right?  I am just the coach.

One of the biggest challenges is working with a group of folks who have no idea what it is like to be out on the ice.  To have skated.  And to have skated well.

When I was skating, I was skating close to 4 days a week or more if I could.  When I wasn’t at the rink, I was dreaming up ways I could get to the rink.  I loved it.  It was where I could express myself, where I was graceful and powerful…not an insignificant speck in the world.  I may not have been as good as some of the smaller girls…and we can go into a whole body image issue, but we will leave that for another time…but I had power and grace.  I was intense out there.  It was important to me.

I started out like many of my skaters…taking basic skills lessons.  I quickly advanced through that.  I know that was because I had gymnastics and ballet behind me.  I ended up telling my mom I wanted a private coach.  My mom agreed and I selected a private coach.  Her name was Corey and she was not the typical coach.  She was older, meaner, stricter.  In a lot of ways, she reminded me of my mom.  But she was also very sweet.  I got to know her when we would drive home from practice at least once a week.  Corey and I would have a lot of conversations.  When I moved, she even asked my mom if I could live with her so she could train me.  That’s how much potential she saw in me.  Of course, my mom said no.  But I always wonder…what if?

Then my second coach was Russian.  Complete with accent and all.  He was also strict.  But we had a problem.  He was also a Lothario and had fallen in love with my mother.  Very creepy.  Seriously.  He started stalking my mom.  So…along with that and some other issues, I quit skating.  I did not want to but at the time it seemed prudent.

So, after my digression (sorry about that gentle reader) I think I have had some experience with skating.  I think I know what I am talking about.  I have not had the typical skating experience.  But…according to the folks I am working with, I might as well be just some bone-head who has no clue.  It’s very frustrating.  And irritating.  And I want to quit.  Oh my Lord have I wanted to quit.  I am not allowed to speak with the skaters or their parents without going through the skating board first.  And yes, I have that in an email.  No one wants to communicate with anyone…because everyone has a personal vendetta against the other for some reason or another.  Seriously…this is what happens when small town minds get together.  People are rude.  Disrespectful.  And they talk behind your back and undo all the hard work you have put in building up rapport with a group of skaters just because they don’t like the  way things are going.  Yeah.  It’s been real hard to see the gift that I have been given.

And so I question…am I supposed to confront these people?  Or, am I supposed to the turn the other cheek?  Should I voice how I really feel about the way they run things or am I supposed to just smile and hold my breath until I turn blue?  I have to realize that this run is only temporary and I need to thank God for the opportunity to make a difference.

But there’s that still small voice.  Honor God.  He brought your dreams to life.  He heard your heartfelt prayer and He gave it to you.  Be thankful.  Be grateful.  Alas, dear reader; sometimes it is so hard to see the BIG GOD sized picture when I can only see the junk that is in front of me.

Needless to say…I will keep plugging along.  I don’t have much more to go.  Praise the Lord, for that!  And then I am done.  I don’t know if I will have my daughter’s and son in skating again.  I might just teach them on my own now that I have the resources to do so.

So I wait.  For God to give me direction.  For Wisdom.  For Knowledge.  For Revelation.  For a dream of where I need to be next.  Here I am, Lord.  It is I, Lord.  Thank You for loving me, as perfectly imperfect as I am.

Advertisements

J.U.M.P! Jesus, Use Me Please!

Be careful what you ask for.

Because what I asked for…is what I got and it was a humbling experience to say the least.  But totally in a good way, gentle reader.  In Such.A.Good.Way!

So, there are some issues that I have needed to pray on.  Continually.  And I finally submitted myself to God’s hands and let Him take control.  That decision is one of the hardest to do when you feel the need to be in control for most of the time.  But it was a decision I made.

Then of course, you start second guessing yourself.  Is it really God’s will or your own?  Is it really Him who is leading or are you once again taking charge because you think that is what needs to be done?

As I was praying the shower, because, don’t you know, that’s the only time (usually) that I have to myself…I was thinking on those things.

I was thanking God and our Lord for turning the situation out so well.  For positioning hearts and minds so they would be receptive.  For allowing me the grace and humility to ask for help…and honestly…my sinners heart was complaining.  Sigh.  Yes, complaining.  Because everything had turned out so well.  And I started listening to that little voice, you know, the jealous one that tells you: “You aren’t good enough”, “They didn’t want you anyway”, “They like her more than you”.  And gentle reader, I am thirty-something and those are not the thoughts of a tween or teen.  Those are my thirty-something thoughts still.  Anyway.  I was still wondering if I had to submitted to God’s will.  Did I do what He wanted?  And then it became all so clear.

And He said: “Don’t you know, I didn’t do it for YOU?  I did it for her.”

OH.MY.WORD.

I have been praying for wisdom and revelation.  And when revelation hits…boy, can it be a doozy.  I knew right then and there that yes, I was humbling myself.  Yes, I was honoring God’s will.  Yes, I did the right thing.  And then and there, I was humbled and convicted that what I had done was right.  And it was the Lord who guided my steps.  And He used me just as I had asked.

So, gentle reader…when you pray J.U.M.P…Jesus, Use Me Please…He just might use you faster than you expected.  And it will probably not be about you at all.

Amen and Amen.