Metaphorically and physically, I’m embarking on new territory; I’m standing on new grounds. As some of you know, I am now a resident of Tennessee, (approx. 15 miles from downtown Nashville.) I’ve been here for two and a half months now and I’m finally adjusting/becoming familiar with the area. A lot of people have been wondering why I moved here. And boy, sometimes I wonder that myself. To put it in a sentence: God told me to and I said “Okay!”
I know that sounds a bit strange, but maybe I can explain further. Nashville was never a plan I had for myself. I had been to Nashville once in my life before God started giving me dreams about this place. It was nothing special to me; I had no desire to be here.
Although this place is nothing short of wonderful, the transition was quite difficult for me. But I knew, with everything in me, that I had to make a move in order to see what was out here for me. Faith requires Action, so action is what I took.
I want to get gritty for a second and let you see my heart. I want you to know why it has been so tough for me lately. See, I left any comfort I had and my closest friends: the people I spent all day and all night with- whether we were: laughing, driving around, playing games, drinking wine, listening to really loud music, worshiping, sharpening, growing, crying, celebrating, exploring, praying, screaming out car windows, taking trips to Wolf Mountain, dancing in grocery stalls, eating copious amounts of Cookout, Moe’s, and sushi, waiting for midnight music to drop, or just sitting in silence, these were easily my favorite moments with my very best friends. To put it simply, last season was the best time of my life.
But, time keeps going and changing.
For a good part of my life, I have remained very nostalgic and constantly comparing my present to the past. My last few months with my people, I tried to pay close attention to how I was feeling in each moment. I found that even in my times of despair, I was still oddly comfortable because of my company. I found the kind of support and care that some people long for their entire lives. I had nothing to fear, because I was surrounded by the most tangible love. I didn’t mind freaking out and being the most vulnerable I had ever been with the people that showed me this kind of love. If it’s possible, they loved me the most in the moments I felt the most unlovable. They broke down walls in me that I never knew existed and because of that, I was able to live bigger than life. These people in my circle taught me selflessness, exhortation, and admiration on a level I have never experienced before. Thankfully, these are my forever people, even though that small town was not my forever home.
The love that was expressed through each one of my friends, was undoubtedly straight from God. There’s no other explanation for how unconditional it was. There’s no other explanation for why a few hours apart would call for a well-due reunion. I was chasing after their hearts and they were after mine.
My relationship with God during this season of my life was no less affectionate, thrilling, and rewarding. Each night I would go to sleep anticipating new dreams that Holy Spirit would whisper to me. I had visions and clarifications about my future that made me want to sleep more so I could dream more. Not long after, everything started checking out in real life. Every. Single. Dream. Started. To. Come. True.
Every whispered word was revealed before me.
Although there was/is a deep-rooted joy attached to receiving supernatural messages, these ones carried weight as well. There was a bit of fear attached to my future: a healthy fear. I knew that I was about to go through a heartbreaking transition, entering into a new season and new city on my own. I knew it would be uncomfortable and I was about to surrender a lot in my life. I knew my nature was a bit irresponsible and impulsive and I would need to undergo some serious changes in order for God to trust me with each promise. I knew, for the first time in my life, I was entirely comfortable right where I was. To which some may think is great, but it was actually the biggest indicator that I needed to leave.
PC always said “God cares more about our character than our comfort.” I had never considered myself to be comfortable. And because of this, I decided to pray the wildest prayer I’ve ever prayed: “God, wreck my dependence.”
And THAT is exactly what He did. And it hurt. A lot.
You may be confused on why I would ask God to do something like that. I was even confused for a while: especially when I started losing so much and having intense feelings of loneliness and anxiety. A lot of what I lost, I never expressed to the people closest to me/the people I spill my heart to…but I think that’s kinda the point. God brought me into this solitude with Him. He showed me who He is on new levels. He showed me new sides of myself: some that I love and others that I am in the process of shedding, (Much like ecdysis.)
See, for the longest time, I thought God was wrecking my dependence;
now I realize He was restoring it.
It’s really easy to become enamored with the things of this world, especially relationships. Don’t get me wrong, the things that I had/have were pleasing and pure things: gifts from God himself, but I became possessive of those things. I understand now why I needed to have those things removed. Fortunately, a lot of the things I gave to God were blessed and brought back to me in new ways. All I had to do was return everything to the rightful owner: the Giver of the gifts. I never want to get to a point where God’s gifts to me are bringing me more joy than His presence alone.
As far as my job goes, I work in a new clinic almost every day. That has come with a lot more struggles than I anticipated, but I am so grateful, nonetheless. My favorite thing about this job is when I work about an hour away and get to spend my mornings driving through the mountains, drinking my coffee, and having sweet conversations with Jesus.
My biggest struggle of this job is not being able to really develop relationships with the people I meet. I am always on to the next place and it can be draining. Luckily, I’ve made many work pin-pals and the little emails from them throughout my days are the best surprises. (I swear they keep me sane some days.)
ALRIGHT, LET’S WRAP THIS UP. Here are a few more things you need to know about me right now:
1. I have developed a deep love for black coffee. (Who would’ve known! I started drinking this magic back in January and it was nowhere near black back then.)
2. I have a new home church, the Belonging Co., and it is nothing short of a constant open heaven. This church has been equipping me to take on the world and hone into the Holy Spirit’s presence like never before. It’s sweet, emotional, exciting, and full of dreamers with great vision and childlike faith. Anytime I forget why I’m here, I look at how much I’ve learned at this place alone and everything makes sense again.
3. I live with the biggest ray of sunshine: Elizabeth Schreiber. I’ve got to witness the way she cares for people and it is more selflessly than anything I’ve seen before. She listens to my heart, partners in my discomfort, and makes our house a home.
I’ll leave you with something simple: the other day, a lady named Nancy came in for her last day of physical therapy and encouraged someone (who just started their therapy) by saying: First you’re in a lot of pain and it’s really frustrating, but one day, you wake up and suddenly you’re better.
Cheers to growing, keeping things real, and experiencing new levels of joy.