Martin Luther King Jr once said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Taking a leap of faith was King’s specialty. He was such an inspiration in the civil rights movement and ending segregation. He was the leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and organized the March on Washington, but never knew where those “staircases” might lead. He knew where he wanted to be–in a nation without segregation. A place where everyone treated each other with the same respect. A nation where everyone had the same opportunities. When he began organizing these historical events, he didn’t know how powerful they would be. He took a leap of faith and hoped for the best.
What does it mean to take a leap of faith? To me it means to go after your dreams and grow into the person you want to be despite what might lie ahead. People tend to stay in dead-end jobs or in relationships that don’t make them happy because they are afraid to take that leap of faith. God might be pushing them in one direction, but without faith, they miss their opportunity. We cannot grow without faith. Faith does not mean religious. It does not have to mean that you believe God will work it out for you. Faith is believing that everything will happen the way you want it to be even when there is no proof that it will happen.
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Sometimes when we take a leap of faith, it doesn’t turn out the way we want it to. We may fail! But that’s okay! Failure is an opportunity to learn. What you learn from that failure may make you a better person and prepare you for your next leap of faith.
My Leap of Faith
I have taken many leaps of faith in my life, and I haven’t taken some when I should have. The biggest leap of faith was leaving my teaching job to stay home with my daughter. There are many reasons why I left that you can read about in My Dreams Can Become my Reality and Failure is Only the Beginning. But despite the fact that public education is declining, there was a much bigger push to quit….my daughter!
I had Sicily 11 months before I decided to leave my job. I would like to say that I felt bad for leaving Sicily while I went to work in the fall, but I didn’t (well at least not as much as I should have). I was actually excited to go back to school and start a new year, with new students. But as the days passed, I kept getting a feeling that I shouldn’t be there. Each day I felt more out of tune with my students and colleagues. Something was telling me that I needed to be home. That Sicily needed me more than my students did. My dream had always been to be a stay at home mom.
But, I was saving money for a wedding. I was paying off debt. Money was already a strain. I had to keep my job. I fought with myself for two months. I asked my fiancé several times if I could quit. He knew it would be strain, but he knew where my heart was. He encouraged me to do what will make me happy. So I did!
This leap of faith has led to a money strain like I imagined, but I am happier because of this leap of faith. I am pursuing my dreams of opening a family child care center, so I can still teach, contribute to the income, and be a stay at home mom. I’m still not sure if this leap of faith will be a success or a failure, but I am learning a lot on this journey. When I’m laying on my death-bed, I will be able to say that I tried. I’d rather know that I tried for the things I wanted instead of lying there wondering, “Well what if?” When I took this leap of faith, I had NO IDEA where the staircase was going to lead. I just knew that I needed to be home with my daughter. I had no idea it would lead me to a preschool or this blog. I couldn’t even see past the first step of my staircase.
The staircase represents your journey. It’s okay to not know where your journey will lead. Take it one step at a time. Those journeys are what makes our life worth living. So tell me my friend, do you want to be stuck on the same old boring staircase that you know exactly where it will lead? Or do you want to take a leap of faith and follow a new staircase that has no promised steps?
Remember, Martin Luther King Jr didn’t know where his staircase would lead, but it ended up being a great one!
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