...what?

This post has a particularly tender place in my heart and there are very few eloquent words so read it with care,
Its no surprise that moving to a new State is mildly exciting and massively scary.  But I had an interesting conversation with someone last night, one that completely changed my perspective - it was with the mother of the children I was babysitting. Kathy is a counselor - go figure - and since we don't know each other that well, she asked me a few questions about myself.  So against my sense of propriety, I just laid out the difficulties I was going through - that although I did imagine this new phase of my life to be difficult I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that I really wasn't supposed to be here, one in my gut that's been eating at me for a week.  Everything in my life right now is calling me back home, not just emotionally or nostalgically, but spiritually.  I'm torn beneath the weight of immense pride of not failing and returning home so soon, and slowly realizing that there is actually no reason I'm here - neither practically nor fancifully.


I then thought, maybe God is teaching me something during this time - and Kathy agreed.  But to my astonishment she didn't give me a lecture on pushing through it, on sticking it out, on being brave. She urged me to trust in God, but she said in essence - "I honor you for sticking true to your commitment to your friend to come out here for six months even when your heart was at home, but even though your plan was to be here for a while, just because its "noble" doesn't make it God's plan.  Sometimes He does really strange things like taking you on a far away journey, preparing you to change, teaching you something new about yourself and then calls you home when you least expect it.  God's plans are not yours and you're not failing by returning - you're following where He's tugging your heart, even if its back home. This is what I propose you do, spend the next few weeks praying, asking God to speak to you, make Himself known, and when the time comes to an end, let thoughts of failure be far behind you.  You're not failing when you're seeking God - even if it takes you places that are difficult, including home."

My dear friends, my deep sense of personal pride (which needs to be squashed and is probably why God is doing this) wrenches like nails scrapped across a chalkboard when I think of changing my plans and confusing my expectations. I've been utterly surprised by a heart that's pointed back home, contrary to every experience and wish of my past that says "go! explore without reservation", I feel like a split person.  But its ok :) I think that's the point, I think the clouds are clearing - moving to Colorado had nothing to do with being brave, or "going out of my comfort zone for the sake of going out of my comfort zone"(though all those things may have happened) - but everything to do with God, his interest in my character, and my dependency on him.  I'm learning to never assume what you think God is teaching you - 'cause this one definitely took me for a loop.

Photo by Michael Ashworth