Life is full of transitions, something my friend Alison knows a thing or two about. Alison is a champion of meaningful conversations and ridiculously fun moments. This is probably the most honest story to come out of this project yet, I’m really grateful for that.
Many companies have started promoting The New Year already. For some reason, rushing through Christmas to celebrate The New Year didn’t sit all too well with me initially, but when I thought more about it I realized 2015 is soon coming to a close.
So, instead of resisting it, I decided to give the idea of finishing 2015 a chance to breathe for a second.
This year opened with sure confidence that change was coming. An idea which had begun as a spark a couple months earlier had caught some momentum, and was concrete in January.
It launched me into a season of searching, courage, boldness and longing for more. It became a season of heartfelt goodbyes and accepting purposes for seasons, past and future. A season of overwhelming gratitude.
Athens (Georgia) was where I landed after college.
Where I had my first full time job and eased into adulthood.
Where my community became deeply rooted.
Where I was known — and I was loved.
In the context of my 25 years, a lot of the life I lived had been associated with Athens and those located within its borders.
Fast forward several months.
End Summer. Enter Whiplash.
I said goodbye to many, and re-goodbye to a few more.
I closed out a significant chapter of my story and about 6 hours later opened a brand new one.
I slept on the floor that day because I got to my apartment, met my new roommate, and realized my air mattress didn’t have a pump. I went to lunch with people I didn’t know – because someone told me that saying “Yes” was a good thing to do at first (which was great advice, but probably could have passed and been fine that day).
Day after starting work, I joined a gym.
Couple days later, joined a new small group.
A week afterwards, rented a truck and finally moved in.
Literally hit the ground running as fast as I knew how.
A month later I couldn’t figure out why I was crying all the time because:
1.) I’m not a crier (though nobody in my life now agrees with this statement, not even a little bit).
2.) This was the Promised Land. This was supposed to be good; the easier choice.
All of the sudden change got [really] uncomfortable.
I didn’t love the place that was supposed to be amazing, what many would consider a dream job. I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. The people I had moved from had lives that kept going; meanwhile, I couldn’t figure out how I was supposed to fit in here.
I spent a lot of my time feeling misunderstood and alone.
Most of the time – I wasn’t the one with answers to questions; instead I was asking them (or spending way too long on a project because I was too prideful and stubborn to ask them).
Needless to say, my counselor and I had a good deal to talk about.
One of the greatest things that came from our time together was truth. She would hear what I was saying, validate it and connect the dots. She would also bear the role of the scalpel a little bit — but quickly apply some Neosporin and a band-aid with her gentleness and understanding.
She was (and still is) a voice of truth.
A couple of weeks ago she had me list out some truth to combat the lies that had become a loud, driving force in my mind.
“There is a seat at the Table – I need only to sit in it”
Something about listing that truth aloud helped me see it actually happening in my story. It reminded me of the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. It gave me freedom to live and be, and let others do the same.
The past four months have been far from what I expected. I learned about the messy parts of myself and the beautiful, consistent parts of Abba.
I have learned that His desire for us is freedom rather than fear.
I have seen His pursuit in my story long before I recognized it.
Change is hard — and it’s good.
And sometimes, it’s not necessarily the good like getting cozy by a fire and snuggling up with a blanket — but more like how a surgery is good. Where there are scars and wounds and (eventually) healing.
My prayer for you is that releasing your expectations of good helps you find freedom. That you’ll hold on to and trust the process — it’s worth it.