Five years ago, I moved to Ohio. I was planning on staying here for a month to spend time with my family before I started my future with my then-fiance. Well, I am still here in Ohio. And I am not married. But the past five years have been a crazy-wonderful-awful experience of hitting rock bottom, making a medium-sized list of mistakes, and getting back up on my feet just to realize that something is missing...still.
A little background? Okay.
In 2004, I began a relationship with a guy who was a master manipulater and charmer. I had never felt loved by anyone like him, so I was easy prey for his soft heart, crooked smile, and twinkling eyes. I was at the end of my bachelor's degree, working at the university I was attending and on my way to start my Master's degree. I had a great place to live, a fulfilling job, and was deeply involved at my church. I gave it all up for this guy.
I was doomed from the start. I knew that God wasn't part of the relationship, but I kept inviting Him into it, wanting Him to bless my relationship with this non-Christian, when flags kept going up left and right. I had warnings from friends, coworkers, and God Himself. But I didn't want to hear it. I was in love. So I stopped listening.
I found myself 8 hours away, without my community, feeling depressed, isolated, and having to face the fact that I probably made a huge mistake everyday. But, pride kept me from going back. I didn't want to break up with him and admit that I was wrong. I eventually did though, when I'd had enough. Andwhen the relationship that I had built myself around crumbled, I realized I didn't have a lot left.
I had a rough, really rough year. Lots of drinking and anger and poor choices. I also tried sewing, reading, exercise... Nothing made me feel better.
I eventually came back to Jesus, got plugged in at church and got my life back on track. But, still something was missing. Like no matter how much I did for the Lord, I kept feeling that I should be somewhere else. I didn't know where, but I sensed that God had more for me than Ohio.
In the past year, I have felt God's voice saying two words, "Go" and "Do.". When I prayed about when and where, I kept hearing Him say, "one year." So I kept listening- waiting for instructing. Waiting for the where and when.
He spoke. At a leader's retreat about a month ago, our pastor was challenging us to commit to be radical for Jesus. I felt like God was leading me to be radically dependent on Him.
This is from my journal that weekend:
"The past three months, God has brought me to a place multiple times where I am shown that He is my provider. Now I am in a place where He wants me to step towards something without telling me who I will be going with. He just wants me to step out, trust Him, and know that He will provide all I need.
The next year is going to be a year of me stepping out and being radically dependent on God. I will trust that He will provide every step of the way. He has called me to something, and He will see it through. It is not my burden to bear."
What I didn't know then was that God was preparing me for the moment when He would reveal that I am to move back to VA to finish what God started. You see, God had me on this path. He has His plan set. Then I chose something else. While I have lived with quite a few consequences for walking away from what I knew God was calling me to, He is gracious enough to welcome me back and allow me to pick up where we left off.
So there it is: I am leaving OH, once again. I am going back to get my MA in Organizational Studies and prepare for a career in non-profits. I am stepping out and trusting that God will provide a job and a good roommate.
Who has had any experiences like this: of returning to what God is calling you to?