The past few weeks have been full of confusion and stress. I have been crippling myself with one question:
"Where am I meant to be?"
I have sooo many unanswered questions and concerns bogging down my mind. Questions that go a little something like this:
Are we in the right place?
What if we're not?
Are we missing out on what God has for us by being in the wrong place?
Should being by family take priority at this time in our lives? (Reno?)
Should being in an awesome community take priority at this time in our lives? (Oklahoma?)
What does my gut tell me to do?
Ummmm, Why isn't my gut saying anything?
Are we meant to just stay put?
Why are we both suddenly feeling freaked out about this?
Here's the thing. When I moved to California, I KNEW WITHOUT A DOUBT that I was meant to move there. God practically knocked me upside the head with it. That was good, because I was very young, and probably needed a good, strong WHACK to push me from the nest. And, I didn't have to struggle with all the doubt. woo hoo!
When we moved to Oklahoma, it was more of a CHOICE rather than a specific calling. Believing that God would bless us no matter where our physical address was located (as long as we were ultimately pursuing Him), we decided to take a leap and move halfway across the country- 6 short months after Ezra was born.
Living here in Oklahoma has been the happiest time of my life. I've re-discovered my love of writing and we have become a part of a community here that has changed our lives and perspectives of the world and the church forever. The people here are living the life Chris and I had always dreamed of living... They are people pursuing their dreams with the full knowledge of how desperately they need one another to accomplish them.
Beautiful stuff, I tell you.
We could stay here in Oklahoma and be perfectly happy for years and years to come. So, why this sudden itch? This sudden fear that we might be in the wrong spot and missing out on God stuff?
If we moved back to Reno, it would have to be a very intentional move. We would be moving back to be by family, but it would also be a whole lot more than that. We would be taking all of the amazing things that we've learned about community and pursuing God with one another and SHARING it, LIVING it out among the people in that town... Asking if anyone wanted to join us on our messy, wonderful journey. It would be a missional move. We wouldn't and couldn't do it without the support and blessing of our community here, sending us out.
There aren't really any communities in Reno like the ones that we've been a part of here in Oklahoma or in California. And since most of our families and friends LIVE IN THAT TOWN, the knowledge of that breaks our hearts.
Chris heard some really good advice last night. He heard about a man at our church who was recently listening to his daughter while she processed her fears and worries about buying the 'right house' in the 'right neighborhood' for the 'right price'. She was really stressed out about making the choices that she thought God would want her to make. Her dad basically told her this:
"In all my years of following God, I've learned one thing about making big, life decisions. Your focus should ALWAYS be on RELATIONSHIP first and foremost. The details and logistics (where to live? what career?) are only secondary and aren't ultimately as important as the relationships you choose to pursue."
I thought that was so wise and TRUE. It doesn't mean that God doesn't care about the houses we buy or the jobs we take... it just means he cares about people, relationships, and community more. Chris and I will live ANYWHERE as long as we have an opportunity to be a part of or help build a community that is pursuing Jesus in a real way together.
Ultimately, it comes down to this: All of this worrying and stressing and over-analyzing that I've been doing isn't going to get me anywhere. It's not going to scrounge up any answers. I need to release all of these burning questions and just believe that God will guide me. I need to let go. But as of now, I have a very tight grip. Fear and worry do nothing but complicate something that should be really very simple... TRUSTING GOD. The same God who has been faithful to lead me and love me every single day for the past 25 years.
I trust God enough to tell me if I've wandered way off into left field and am now picking daisies when I'm meant to be coaching third base. Because I believe He is Good to me. And I believe that He loves me.
At least, I believe those things in my head. But something tells me that if I really, truly, waaaay deep-down for sure believed those things in my heart, I wouldn't allow myself to get so STRESSED OUT over all the big question marks in this life. Life is hard. Life is meant to be hard. It is a refining process. It was never meant to be (and never will be) (and would we ever really want it to be?) a smooth, free ride to the end.
So here's the logic... If I really believed God was GOOD and loved me, I would stop begging Him to tell me what to do already. Stop begging Him to 'speak up'. I would trust in His goodness and His ability to speak to me, and I would sit back and enjoy the journey... bumps and all.
He tells me that if I seek Him, I will find Him. And when I do find Him, He will be GOOD to me.
So, the question suddenly isn't "Where should I live?"
The question is "Do I believe God is GOOD? To me?"
If I'm 100% honest with myself, the answer would be "not really". There is something deep inside of me that feels I need to keep one hand on the wheel at all times. You know, 'just in case' God drops the ball and sends me barreling off of a cliff or something.
I'm afraid to let go. I'm afraid to lose control.
I've got my fearful hands all over the steering wheel while, at the same time, I'm asking God TO STEER.
What would happen if I allowed myself to let go? What would happen if we ALL did? I bet we'd realize that the "cars" we'd been frantically driving around on the ground were really airplanes.
Just waiting for that cliff; for a chance to finally takeoff.