The night before I was to find out about Teach for America I was excited. “God, will you give me one more dream about TFA? Just for fun?” I prayed as I fell asleep.
Over the course of the last six months, God has given me four dreams about Teach for America after I asked for them. They were all positive.
I woke up the yesterday morning after having a dream that I didn’t get accepted to Teach for America – I was crying for most of the dream. “That was…weird.” I thought as I got out of bed. “Am I supposed to believe that was from you, God?” I wondered.
The dream left me feeling curious, but I still believed with all my heart that I would be accepted to Teach for America. I went about my day doing all that I had planned – I went to a movie in the afternoon and was on my way to the library when I decided to stop by the house for something.
I checked my gmail and saw an email titled “Your Teach for America Application.” With shaking hands, I opened it with eager anticipation. Immediately I noticed there was no congratulations. The first line said, “Thank you for your interest…” and that was all I needed.
I went into shock, and lay on the floor for the next two hours. I used up half a roll of toilet paper on my snot and tears.
I got up to use the bathroom and went back to my spot on the floor. I don’t know what it is about the floor…I was so low in my spirit that it seemed the floor was the only place to be. A bed was too comfortable – too far removed from the way I was feeling.
It felt almost like someone had died, and I realized it was my dream that had died. For years I have had this dream, and in a moment it was killed. I had to repeat out loud to myself “I’m not doing Teach for America” over and over again because my mind couldn’t comprehend it.
I thought about how I had already thought of a facebook status for when I was accepted, and how I was going to ask for teacher clothes for Christmas. I thought about how I knew I wouldn’t date a boy until after my two year commitment ended, about how I anticipated living with other TFA members, how I was planning my summer around the TFA training institute, how I imagined my first day of class with my students…I thought about how I would have to switch my entire thinking process from now on.
I wondered, did I make up all those dreams and all those words I heard from God? Am I a crazy person with voices inside my head? I hear they have institutions for people like that. Then I concluded no, I’m not crazy. God did give me all those dreams and speak words of confirmation to me. So WHY, God? WHY!? Why would you do this to me???
I don’t know why, except to say this: I’ve been learning that God often has to break my heart in order to give me something better than what I thought I wanted. Earlier this year my heart desired this certain guy, and at another point in the year I desired a certain job. I couldn’t dream for anything better. But God took those things away from me (really, he never gave them to me in the first place) to make room for something better, and I think he did the same thing with TFA.
Never before have I dreamed or prayed or believed in something so much. I threw myself into this dream – I gave my all and then some. I feel like I was sprinting out on the water toward Jesus, and now I’m down at the bottom of the sea. When I was on the floor for those two hours all I could see was darkness. I didn’t think I’d ever get up or laugh again. “My entire being is crushed – I am the remnants of a shattered dream.” I wrote in my diary.
I wanted to be mad at God. I wanted to blame him, to curse at him, to disown him. If this had happened a few years ago – a year ago even, I would’ve. But I yesterday couldn’t hate or blame him. I couldn’t because everything in me knows that God is good – even when I don’t understand.
Toward the end of my stay on the floor I wrote these words, “God, you see me right now. You see me crying on the floor and you hurt for me. But you also know what’s next. And you’re excited.”
I believed in this TFA thing so much that I didn’t plan for the future apart from it. My mom would always ask what I planned on doing if I didn’t get accepted, to which I would respond, “Oh ye of little faith.” I told her that I would be accepted because of God, so there was no need for plan B.
I’m glad I never made a plan B. I’m glad that I went for Teach for America with all heart and all my faith in God – I didn’t play it safe. I’d rather run fast and fall hard than ease forward with caution. Even though it hurts a lot freaking more, and makes me look like a complete fool.
My future is blank once again. I was so ready to be rooted, so ready to be a part of something long term. Now I’m lost with no where to go. Well, I have Nicaragua to go to for a few months, but after that I have no direction. The other day my dad asked me what my vision was for my life, and until then I never realized I had no life goal beyond Teach for America. That’s what it has been for years. And now it’s gone.
I don’t know what the future looks like. What I do know, however, is that I’m not going to let this heartbreak stop me from once again stepping out on the water toward Jesus. I know it’s not safe, I know I may fall, I know I may even get the floor wet with my tears. But I trust that God is good, and to him I will lift my eyes.