Thursday, April 17, 2014
A Year Later
at 11:11 AM
One year ago yesterday we were in our new apartment, surrounded by boxes and newly scratched furniture. Excited, nervous, ready. Ready for the big things God surely had planned for us in this new town, so friendly and new and unlike anyplace we'd ever lived before (two Starbucks!) This was it. This was what we'd been waiting for.
And then I didn't find a job. (I still haven't exactly found a steady job.) The shine began to wear off and I found myself feeling anxious and lonely and homesick for the home this place was supposed to be. Trevor was settling into his new role as worship pastor, but I was pacing the apartment day after day, asking God if it was really Him who had led us here. Because things weren't going right, and when things don't go as planned, that means that surely we're out of God's will?
I scrounged up some loose change one day and went to Starbucks for a cup of tea, job finder newsletter in hand. The tea was good, but the only jobs listed were for truck drivers and Avon sales reps. I trashed it and stared wistfully out the window. This was getting irritating.
I opened up my library book, if only to keep myself out of that cramped apartment for another hour. But the words rolled out of the page and over me and God must have showed up, because I began to ugly cry right there in Starbucks. Thank goodness the place was empty.
The words from the book rang so clear and true in my heart and it hurt. Is my foundation truly in God? If He is truly where my help comes from, then why am I despairing? And an even harder truth - that maybe this move, this new start, this new town, wasn't really about me. What if God didn't bring me here for my comfort, my personal happiness? What if He brought me here solely for His glory? To do a new work in me, to prune me, so that ultimately He may be glorified through me?
It's been a year since I scrawled those words into my journal and I am just now starting to get it.
This year hasn't been neat or tidy or easy. Though I looked hard for patterns and plot and meaning behind the rises and falls, I can see now that it was just life. And a lot of it sucked. I was confronted with the filth in my heart as it was starkly contrasted by the glittering lakes and quiet streets of this perfect little town. I was a mess.
I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?
I look back at all the random events and emotions that made up this year; the boredom, the busyness, the loneliness, the endless job searching, the depression, the joy. It doesn't fit into a neat, sensical plot. It doesn't make any sense.
But it did point me to God. All of it. It revealed how little I can do on my own; how much I need Him. And I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm finally going back to the basics, laying out the foundation. Not looking at what is or isn't going right; only looking to Jesus, the only true source of meaning and purpose.
Life is full and rich again, like a meal at our favorite restaurant downtown. I have no idea what direction my life is going in and I tend to stare blankly when people talk about five-year plans. But there is a deep joy that's replaced the fear and loneliness. And if that's all that came out of this mixed up little year, that's more than enough.