What happens when life doesn’t go according to plan? I discovered this question last week in a big way. I had plans, ginormous leap-of-faith plans, and I was risking it all. Ante in, I bet everything.
It started out good, well kinda; it started out kinda good. Then out of blue skies avalanched a mass of emotions that I didn’t see coming. I pictured sunny skies, and those are the ones my social media depicted, but in all reality: they were gray, gloom with a steady chance of showers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so incredibly thankful for all the beautiful people I met last week and their wonderfully kind and thoughtful hearts. On paper, everything was fantastic. I networked. I jumped through hoops, oh boy, did I jump through hoops – I did everything everyone told me to, except in great stress and anxiety, I stopped listening to the only voice that mattered.
And now, a week washed away, I stand amidst the crumbling remains of what I thought were my dreams. Now, I’m scared of what that still, small voice might say.
March 25, 2017
If I could describe myself in one word today, it would be “depleted”. As I board the plane to Colorado, I question every decision I’ve made up to this moment. Like why in the world would I ever leave Kentucky? I glance at the photo of bourbon barrels on the wall for comfort. What am I getting myself into?
All job-searching has left me empty-handed; empty-handed and soon be jobless and homeless. Just me, my stuff and a U-haul. Leaving this land I love to move to a city where I know no one. Jumping, leaping with no sign of landing.
This is when my heart sternly prays, “God, please show up now.”
I’m tempted to worry, oh boy, would I worry, but I can’t. For every doubt I’ve thought there’s a still, small reply, “I’ve got this. I’ve called you. Just trust me.” Every single time. Each step of the way, I can see God working. My resignation date to the gentlemen who offered to help me book the U-haul and attach the trailer, God’s hand is in this; He is working.
As my plane lifts off the ground and into the morning skyline, so does my hope and trust as I take this risk, this epic leap of faith, following that trusty, still, small voice.
Where you go, I will follow.
Here I am, send me.
Give me peace. Grant me patience. Help me obey.
No matter how hard I try or how much I hope to be involved, I know that this is not of me, my hard work or ability. This is all you Lord. All you. So I give it all to you. All hope, trust and glory be to you God, the Light of the world.
Later that night…
I am officially scared out of mind and body. I keep silently pleading that God will let me move to Lexington instead. I know it’s fear talking. After all my silent pleads I hear, “I think you’re gonna like it here,” which is sing-songed to the newish Annie song.
It’s all so new, so unknown. Completely different than my Kentucky world – my Kentucky love. Also there’s the sense of hopelessness: Is a month long enough to find a job and a home? What if that doesn’t happen? What if I do something wrong and God doesn’t come through for me? Oh me of little faith. The mocking, belittling voice in my head says, “Who would want to hire you anyways? What do you have to offer? You’re experiences won’t help you. You might as well quit.”
I feel anxious while I’m typing this… Words straight from my journal – not necessarily poetic, but true to this page: raw. What if He makes me relive the experience I had last week, except this time… forever? I need to take a break.
March 26, 2017
Life is working out for me in a way that it never did in Kentucky. This morning, as I worshipped with my new fellow believers at Woodmen – I remembered some important details about the nature of God. Lost in praise I felt the beauty of worship despite a scary and seemingly hopeless venture. As tears threatened to trail down my cheeks and my voice choked to silence, my heart – my soul – thank my precious Savior for what He was about to do. For all the doors He would open and connections He would make so I could follow where He leads me. Seemingly dire, I praised him despite my inkling of human doubt.
It wasn’t perfect, in fact, I’m sure I was gleefully off-key, but it was beautiful. The message, in a series that each week had been speaking to my soul, followed in suit.
Lead by the Spirit, and my mother’s encouragement, after the service, I headed to the connection center. Directing myself to the available helper in the center, God swooped the lady to his left in my direction instead. She was wonderful! I shared my story of how I’m moving there in a month and want to get connected with people my age of 20s-30s. Very informed, she shared all her knowledge and passion for young adults and singles groups in the congregation. Feeling the urge of the Holy Spirit, I added in the “and if you know anyone looking for roommates…” which lead me to deluge my leap of faith.
“I don’t have a job yet… or a place to live,” I explained, “But I know in my depths this is where God is calling me.”
“Several years ago,” she responded, “That was my story too. I moved from Iowa with no job and no place to live, but I had a few folks that helped me settle in.”
In that moment, I felt the most delightful feeling: Hope. She asked me my background and my interests and I could see lightbulbs, left and right, going off. Five minutes prior, we had been complete strangers. Now she was helping me find a solid place to land.
Yesterday, one month seems like no time at all.
This morning, I worshipped despite.
Shortly after, the hope of possibility reignited my faith.
With each passing moment, I can feel you working Lord. It’s still scary at times, but if we just focus on each of the todays as they come, i think I’ll be okay. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU! I can’t wait to see what you do next!
I will trust in you.
My good, good Father.
I am no longer a slave to fear!
I am Your child!
I will follow where you lead,
and I know you are in control.
Though I fail and fall short,
I cannot screw this up for you!
A grand praise and thanksgiving to that!
Help me, equip me to continue to follow and obey, and to somehow give back to everyone who is helping me. Your will Lord. Close doors that need to be closed, that aren’t right, and open those you have planned for me. Your plan Lord, your plan. Your move! I’ll follow.
My prayer: Direct my path, guide my steps. So all glory may be given to you!
It’s really hard to read back on this moment without thinking, ‘what in the world are you doing Lord?’ I repeatedly question if I’m just taking my own path, because I have this tendency to believe that God doesn’t want what I want. ‘Surely He calls me to struggle, and take the path of anxiety.’ I must remind myself that He created my desires. He knows that I long to be around the people that I care about, and my heart hopes to be closer to friends and family with every passing minute (even if it means venturing to the frozen tundra and living in an igloo for nine months each year). He knows how to coax me to where I need to be. Knowing my terrible inability to follow, He confidently leads me around the dance-floor of life. He made me just the way I am.
So why do we question? His ways are above my ways, and I know now that I needed to go through the following. I needed these possibilities to be able to give my 110% to my Colorado hopes and dreams fund. Sometimes we need to risk it all and fail in order to willfully follow onto what God originally had planned. Failure is better than regret. Failure means we at least tried.
March 27, 2017
Waking up anxious seems to be the devil’s attempt to distract me. However, it does not distract me for long, as God shines brightly through the kindness of His Colorado Springs children. I have never met so many people so willing to help. Not simply willing but also excited and grateful to help. It is clear that these people are distinctly God’s people. Selflessly kind, generous with their time and willing to help a complete stranger, they amaze me.
Anxiety creeps in as I worry about which hoops I need to jump through, but I know – it is so clear to me now – that God will not let me miss His opportunity for me.
March 28, 2017
Waking up anxious again today has presented less hope. Lots of brainstorming and many good ideas… and a few dead-ends. Will I have a home? Will I be able to pay for said home?
You’re not going to leave me hanging God. I know you’re not. Am I doing too much? Am I doing the right things? How do I sit and wait when pressure from all sides says, “Do this! Apply here! Call there!” My work leads to dead-ends, Lord. Where does your will, your work, your way lead me?
Is there anything I must do besides wait?
I am overwhelmed, pressurized and yet enlightened by the kindness of such strangers, I’m hopeful. On my own I’m lost, rejected, tire and worn, but with you I have hope and new life. Lord please deliver soon – if anything for mom’s nerves. Your will. Your plan. Your steps.
Later that night…
I quit God.
March 29, 2017
I’m broken, frustrated, defeated – why in the world would you call me out here and take away all the good things in my life?! Clearly I am not simply content with just you. I feel alone, even though you’ve provided so many thoughtful folks, but there is so much to do. Do opportunities ever show up in people’s laps? Must an already difficult move be even more difficult? I hate this. I hate it.
Rollercoaster of emotion leaving my heart in Kentucky and now this emptiness, worthlessness. Why in the f*cking world would anyone want to hire me anyway? I’m so not worth it.
Are you sure you don’t want me to stay in Kentucky? Please? Let me stay. Let me quit. Please. I can’t do this anymore.
What do you want from me?
I just feel like an idiot for trying.
Marcy 31, 2017
I’m seriously considering moving home. What in the world is wrong with me?
I’m exhausted, worn, depleted. Dead man walking.
Everything’s changing, but not in the way I had planned. What in the world is going on?
Lost and confused seems to be my official state.
I don’t know who I am or what I want anymore. So dazed and confused by jumping through everyone else’s hoops. I am a successful hoop-jumper. When all else is silenced, what is left?
I still question, if that still, small voice is the Right One or simply one in my head. ‘Have I been listening to my own voice this whole time?’ I second guess myself over and over again. It continues to comfort through my doubt, leading me on a path towards peace. I know that if He wants me somewhere, He’ll make sure I get there. Also, He’ll pack my knapsack to the brim with peace, because He’s generous like that. A loving Father, He promised to never leave my side, even when I’m frustrated because things aren’t going the way I had planned or expected. Sometimes I feel like a teenager around our Lord, whining because His plan “embarrassed” me or somehow made me feel like a fraud.
Isn’t it tough when faith adventures seem to go awry?
What do you do to cope?
How do you know that you are headed in the right direction?
I think I get caught up in the whole “direction” mode. As an adventurer, I want to feel special and called, so I put all my energy into figuring out the place that God has for me. I’m starting to think along the lines of a quote that a friend has mentioned to me several times over.
“Do we enjoy our work, love our work, virtually worship our work so that our devotion to Jesus is off-center? Do we put our emphasis on service, usefulness, or being productive in working for God—at his expense? Do we strive to prove our own significance? To make a difference in the world? To carve our names in marble on the monuments of time? The call of God blocks the path of all such deeply human tendencies. We are not primarily called to do something or go somewhere; we are called to Someone. We are not called to special work but to God. The key to answering the call is to be devoted to no one and to nothing above God himself.” -Os Guinness
I used to dislike it, because I wanted to have direction, but now I’m wondering if all I need to do is seek Him wherever I am. Whether I be in transition, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, England: Seek Him. By plane, car, U-haul: Seek Him. In coffee shops, bars, clubs: Seek Him. Be it administrative work, nonprofits, or writing: Seek Him. Follow my heart, do what I need to do, and seek Him. He’ll be there, present in all circumstances.
So when your path serves up a curveball, just remember to seek Him. God’s understanding is far beyond our own. Yes, He calls some of us to special places, but sometimes He simply asks us that we just serve Him wherever we are in whatever we are doing. We must use the gifts He created for us to love others, and mostly importantly, love Him.
P.S. My path is leading me home!!!
(and yes, I’m excited about it!)
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” -Frederick Buechner