The days are falling off the calendar counting down to moving day. Since deciding to move everything has been happening at a non stop pace. There hasn’t been a lot of time to think about the decisions I’m making or time for over analyzing, which is not coincidence. I over analyze everything, and I’ve known from the second I started looking for jobs that whatever happened was going to happen fast, and that’s the way it should be. If I had any time to sit down and weigh everything on the scales of life in the same way that I normally do, I would be frozen into inaction, seesawing back and forth. So it’s been fast, and I look up and moving day is less than a week away, leaving me very little time to be afraid.
I’ve been looking for roommates and scouring craigslist and Facebook frantically. I’ve had this deep sense that the Lord was going to provide everything I needed, and that I shouldn’t be looking so frantically, or letting myself have anxiety about where I’m going to live. I’ve been counting every penny: how much will I need for a security deposit, pro rate rent for the rest of March, first month’s rent for April, furniture, survival for the time period that I’m there without any added income. Not to mention needing a bed because I’m a princess, and I really just need a puffy cloud to sleep on every night.
How will I move everything when I do find furniture? It’s just me and no male friends to enlist to come bear the load for me.
Do I sell my TV and make $300 extra dollars, or do I try to cram my TV in my car to avoid the $400+ it will take to buy a new one in a few months? The right now need vs the later.
Calculating, kind of. I’ve had this sense hovering over me that it’s all going to work out and fall into place.
I’ve sent probably over 50 emails (because I get obsessive and intense about making the plan a reality), and either no one was responding, or all the respondents ended up being men, and I’m not comfortable moving to California to share and apartment with an unknown male. I had a few female options, but nothing was really settling well with me; it just didn’t feel comfortable or right with any of them. I found the perfect living situation through a friend of a friend of a friend, but that ended up falling through. All of my back up plans of places I could crash if I didn’t have a place when I got there, weren’t working out either. So and so was out of town for a week, so and so just moved in with new roommates and doesn’t really want anyone staying for an extended period of time. I was getting a little concerned that I was going to end up shelling out hundreds of dollars in utilizing Air BnB for weeks.
After all of the things falling through, and how hard it was turning out for me to find a roommate, don’t think those little messages of doubt weren’t creeping into my mind – like, really, what are you doing?! Just selling everything you own and moving to California. If you can’t go, now you have no job, and no stuff.
Throughout the process of searching, I’ve been in contact with a friend of a friend, who has been so sweet and helpful, offering help in any way she can, never having met me before, not knowing a thing about who I am. Actually, a small source of comfort throughout this searching process has been that every person I’ve talked to in L.A. along the way has been so nice, welcoming, and encouraging. “You’ll love it here”. “You’ll absolutely make friends”. “No one moves out here and looks back”. Etc, etc.
A couple of nights ago I once again reached out to the friend of a friend to let her know how my roommate hunt was going (bad), and if she had any more suggestions. Then, friend of a friend decided the timing is right, and that she is going to move and be my roommate. Just like that. This girl who has been so helpful and sweet, someone I’ve clicked with since the first time we spoke, who is so welcoming, outgoing, and an L.A. area native who can show me the ropes better than anyone else, is going to be my roommate. The best part of this is that last night after we decided we were in this transition together, I’ve gotten at least 6 responses from women with great apartments about being able to move into their room.
I find a roommate and the flood gates of other options have opened. Further confirming to me that all of the previous things I had reached out about were getting no responses so that living with a friend of a friend could fall into place. In the past 40 minutes of writing this, I’ve already gotten 3 more emails from people who I could’ve lived with. I love the way the Lord works.
I love His provision. It brings rest to my soul.
This weekend I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Sharptop Cove with a bunch of high school students. If you’ve ever been a camp counselor or leader for things like this, you know it’s utterly exhausting. You have to be hyped up all the time so that the students are excited. You have to lead the way in having spirit and excitement so that they know it’s cool and ok to be jacked out of their minds. You have to be competitive in “squad battles” and games so that they are competitive. You wholeheartedly worship, so that they wholeheartedly worship. You wake up on time so that they wake up on time. You encourage, so that they can encourage. If two 16 year old girls want to stay up and talk until 3 AM, you let it happen and sacrifice the sleep because it’s good and they are being vulnerable with each other and building community in those moments. I honestly am usually dead at the end of these types of weekends, and I am definitely not the leader that has energy in the middle of the night. But this time I was.
I was up really late, and energized the next morning. I was jumping up and down in rap battle mosh pits until 1 AM, and literally enjoying every second. I was worshipping with hands raised, with a full heart, and smiling from ear to ear at the truth of the words I was singing. During the entire weekend, after nights of 4-5 hours of sleep, completely full days, physical and emotional exertion, my soul was rested. I felt peaceful and calm. I didn’t feel grumpy because of lack of sleep. I didn’t feel like not moving because of the way my body ached (yea – I might’ve gotten in some serious muscle working in a female leader battle involving a tug of war with a giant ball because i’m fiercely competitive but we won’t talk about that cause it’s not important). I wasn’t panicking at all the unanswered emails and everything I needed to be doing to get ready to move. My soul was at rest.
Passion City Church has amazing leaders, who love Jesus most importantly, but who also love people so well. Saturday night, as I was in a meeting being encouraged by Louie Giglio, a pastor and speaker who has had a massive impact on my life, as I was rejoicing over what I got to be a part of in shepherding students, while mourning having to leave it behind, my eyes were opened to how God has produced so much fruit, and provided for me so well in this season of life in Atlanta. As hard and rocky as the past two years have been for me, they have been so good. I’ve been privileged to pour into the lives of high school girls, to be a buffer to help guide them toward Christ. I’ve been able to hear their stories, and share in their lives, and speak truth over them when needed. I’ve been able to share my story, and my high school experience with them. I’ve been encouraged by how incredible they are and how wise they are to be teenage girls, and amazed at the wisdom that Jesus can teach at such a young age. These girls have encouraged me probably more than I’ve encouraged them. I was able to meet another person who has had a huge spiritual impact on my life, Shelley Giglio, and thank her for saying Yes to Jesus, for investing her entire life in college students, and for her faithfulness and obedience and the ripple affect it’s made on my life. I’ve been a part of a leadership team that instilled more passion in me for leading and loving people, for loving and serving the city that I’m in; a team that makes me want to be more intentional and wise with my time and energy. God has used this time in Atlanta to teach me and develop me more in the ways of leading and loving well.
Those two seemingly random topics of roommate finding, and winter weekend leading, lead me to one fact: God’s provision, and the way He is opening my eyes to it, is leading me more and more into a place of trusting rest. Into security. I’ve never felt more secure, confident, and cared for as a I have in this time of my life when my entire world is shifting. My entire world is shifting, but my life is rooted in the rock that is Christ. His hand covers me, and guides me. Fruit is growing, and I am filled. It’s hard to put into words the sense of peace that has been shrouding me lately.
It’s not easy for me to say this so vulnerably: For someone who has lived under a banner of rejection since birth, rejection from my dad, a step-dad who chose alcoholism over our family, and multiple rejections from a best friend turned boyfriend turned ex-boyfriend that I loved very deeply, finding trust is massive. Having a sense of security and confidence when I’ve been rejected in more ways than I can count, is nothing short of miraculous for me. My mom always provided everything that she could, but a girl without a father figure never feels quite as taken care of. A girl who has been rejected 100 times for just not being quite good enough. A girl who has never had her heart protected and sought after. It seems like the men who have known me have never considered me worth fighting for. Strength and independence have become my clothing. I fight for myself. There isn’t room to entrust the care of my heart to someone else.
Being provided for when it feels like I’ve spent my entire life fending for and making a way for myself, feels like the sweetest, most beautiful thing that God could show me. I think it’s time for those hardened walls of protection to come down. He is using small and subtle instances of provision (except I don’t know if you can call finding a job across the country a “small” provision) to gently nudge me into peeping over the wall, and to come out from behind it. It’s time for me to embrace security, to rest in His care, and to trust in His provision.
I’m not on my own. I don’t have to make a way for myself. I am infinitely loved. I am a daughter, and the father I have watching over me and guiding me through life is grand and creative, protective, and jealous for my love. I can rest in the sovereignty and love of the God of the universe.
I am resting, and I am watching. Oh Lord, how you marvel me; how you love me.