Monday, March 17, 2014

Where you fit // week 9

Dad always told me to figure out what I wanted and then go for it. I never knew what I did want, I was just really clear on what I didn't want. Lots of little wants whispered -- "travel", "art", "ministry", "marriage" -- but I couldn't figure out a lifestyle where they would fit together well. There have been a few opportunities I knew I wanted to take -- Ellerslie, India, the Little House and Mission:Denver with the youth group -- but as far as something for the long-haul, something for life that I wanted, I just didn't know. Until Zachary.

We had been on different pages about why I was moving to Jersey and that created quite the sea of conflict and miscommunication to navigate. Open communication brings a lot of clarity to confusing situations though and while he and are awesome at miscommunication and overreaction, we're also really dedicated to staying open. It took nearly two months to get back on the same page because some things have to be cleared up in person and to do that schedules have to line up for intentional visits. The result has proved to me once again how constructive conflict can be. People seemed to think that our relationship had hit a breaking point, but it was a bonding point.

Who I am and the life I lead has taken on more shape in the past two months. In my independence I'm free to test out my little wants -- going on weekend road trips, exploring the towns around me, taking a paint class, figuring out how to best show Jesus-love to my co-workers, wanting to do more street outreach with the poor and discovering a desire to serve the Body through helping lead studies and worship -- and make choices I get to learn from. For example, staying out late with my small group is worth the loss of sleep + getting up early to cover a shift at work last-minute is too. Figuring out and pursuing the life you want isn't usually as step-by-step clear as the process of getting a degree is. It takes as much work but it takes more flexibility and fearlessness in the face of uncertainty. You examine opportunities based on which will move you more in the direction of the Lord's will and even if it looks less sure than the other options you take the leap of faith and find that, while you may not have had control and knew you were taking a risk, He did have control the whole time and what looked like a risk was actually quite secure.

The steps I've taken that have led me to here weren't a logical progression that I could have mapped out as a five-year plan five years ago and ended up in this same place. Every step had so much purpose in it though and the Lord sees to it that nothing gets wasted when following Him into what He has prepared. I thought I was moving out here for six months so having this #newjerseyadventure come to a close after just three months was unexpected, but it doesn't mean it's wasted. Finding that the life I lead doesn't fit with my host home, that experience isn't wasted, He gets purpose and growth and fruit out of it. Finding that I fit well in child care but have to leave my job earlier than anticipated, the time I've invested and the lives I've connected with haven't been wasted. Finding a perfect fit with the most phenomenal community from a simple Google search and a brave move to reach out, the handful of times we've shared and the relationships that have just begun are not wasted even though I can't stay. This move was full of challenges and confusion and conflict and it didn't last as long as I had thought but Jersey was where I was supposed to be for the past three months and now that the purpose of this adventure has been accomplished in the Lord's eyes, He is leading me into where I'll fit next. I don't know what it will look like, all I know is that Zachary is a part of it. I'll let y'all know where I end up next.

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