Disclaimer: There is nothing cohesive or especially profound about the following. It’s more or less a list of what I’m learning. Learning. As in progressive tense. Definitely in progress…
For the last 5 years, I’ve been called “Miss Powell” far more than my first name. Those words contain something quite beautiful, not because of implied power or control, but because despite the tone of formality there is intimacy. At first it used to bother me. It made me feel old. It sounded like what people called my mom. But somewhere between the first six year-old walking in the door and this moment recognizing and in some ways grieving their loss, it stopped making me feel weird and started making me feel like me.
I’ve been meeting a lot of new people recently. I’m just as guilty as most of asking the most obvious question there is in those awkward getting to know you moments, “What do you do?” I’m finally getting to the point where I can get my new job title out of my mouth with out starting, stopping, stammering, and sounding like an idiot.
I’ll be the first to admit, that being a teacher quite often became an idol in my life. Where I put my identity. Where I put my hope. Where I put my security. A good thing turned into an ultimate thing.
I’m more sure now than ever that walking away wasn’t really an option, but an act of obedience. A necessary action for me to continue to grow rather than shrivel up. Recently its been confirmed again and again. There have been some really beautiful moments. Some moments where I felt like my heart was going to overflow with gratitude. There have also been some moments where I felt like my eyes were going to do a little overflowing too. Not because anything went terribly wrong, just terribly different.
I’m learning a lot. I’m not just talking databases, office culture, or how to change the water jug. I’m learning a lot about myself. About what I love, what makes me come alive; parts of me that I didn’t even know thrived in certain conditions. I’m learning about what it means to be Emily…and on Sunday mornings, Miss Emily. I’m learning I’m a lot more complicated than I realized, or other people probably realize for that matter.
I’m learning a lot about my sin. About things that won’t go away by merely changing a job or a circumstance. About idols that can’t be covered over, but have to be uprooted and supplanted with what is eternal, not temporary.
I’m learning that growing up is hard, messy work.
I’m learning that most of the ways we most readily identify ourselves are temporary.
I’m learning that relationships take time to build.
I’m learning that I’m different, but so is everybody else.
I’m learning that loving what you’re doing now doesn’t negate what you did back then.
I’m learning that learning is something I always want to do.
I’m learning that sometimes, you just have to tell your mind to stop thinking and go to bed.