Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I need to get my teaching license in the state of Wisconsin. I've been licensed in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Michigan and now I need to go through the process once again for this state. In Texas, I had to take exams to prove I could teach math in addition to providing the board with all of my previous credentials and my transcripts and my fingerprints.... In Michigan I also was required to take a test to prove that I was literate. Neither test was particularly onerous, but I felt a twinge of anxiety because my certification depended upon a passing score.

When I first received my license in Arizona, there were no state tests required for certification. Things have changed in fifteen years. Now, there are additional courses required and specific tests must be passed.

But back to Wisconsin. Which happens to be where I live right now. I received an email yesterday stating that I needed to take the Arizona state exams in order to get my license in Wisconsin.

What? What in the world does that have to do with anything? The more I read the letter and the emailed response to my questions, the more my blood began to boil. I couldn't figure out it if I had to actually have a license in Arizona (which makes no sense because I haven't lived there in 15 years!), which would mean a trip to Arizona just to take this dumb test.

Hmmph! I sat in front of my computer and imagined all the expense and stress this might cause me. Flying across the states to take a test in a state I don't teach in, taking additional classes, waiting potentially another year before I could be licensed.... Oh boy, did I imagine some scenarios. None of them good.

I wrote emails and left messages on the machines of seemingly non-existent people to try to figure this out. Why is it when you need an answer there never are real people who can SPEAK to you? I just needed a voice explaining this to me. Email was not cutting it. After leaving a few messages, there was nothing I could do but sit and wait. And worry.

I worked myself up into a good pity party filled with stress, anxiety and an overwhelming sense of being out of control. And tears.

"The imagination is the bridge between the heart and the mind, integrating both, allowing us to think/understand with our hearts and feel/emote with our minds. It is a vehicle for truth."
Michael Card, Scribbling in the Sand

This quote has been rolling around in my mind for a week. The power of our imagination. To create scenarios of horror or peace. My imagination impacts my heart. I fed my imagination yesterday with visions of stress. And I allowed it to settle down into my heart.

Wouldn't it have been great if I had imagined another scenario altogether? One where I trusted God and believed that no matter what happened, He was in control and had a master plan. The fact is, I have control over my imagination and I could have chosen to imagine a different outcome for this situation.

My imagination will not change the situation, but it will change how I handle it. I was operating as if God wasn't in charge. I had not connected the dots from my head to my heart. I believe that connection could have been made through an imagination consecrated to Christ.

So, despite my lack of faith, guess what happened? God still had a plan and He was still in control of everything. It turns out I have an expired Arizona license which proves I never needed to take a test 15 years ago. Hopefully, this will clear things up here in Wisconsin.

And if I get another letter in the mail in the next week explaining something else that is missing in my application, I hope I have the foresight to use my imagination wisely.


Tiffany Stuart said...

Your experience shows how the imagination can influence us. Mine has worked to destroy me for years as I daily thought I was dying. Phobias took over and I thought for sure I was dying. I'm still here. Hmm. The battle to live free of imagination is huge. If we imagine anything, I want to think about heaven and embracing my Lord. There's something worth thinking about.

Glad it all worked out. And thanks for sharing. Good stuff, Heather.

Hugs from the Rocky Mountains,

Denise said...

Great post, as always.

Tami Boesiger said...

Yes, our imagination can certainly get the best of us. It's a lesson I've had to learn also, not to get too far ahead of myself. Good post, Heather.

Lelia Chealey said...

Isn't that just amazing how we allow this to happen? And it happens so quickly too! I'm glad you were able to rope your mind back in & give God control again.
Great post Heather.

Kathy S. said...

Heather, for sure we are sisters!!I just had the same test a couple of weeks ago, and grace prevailed over my failure to imagine the right thing. This is it!!!
May the Lord help us all to take every thought and imagination captive to the obeience of Christ.

Praise the Lord on your scholarship!

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