I can’t believe it’s been two and a half years already since I sat on a curb–barefoot in the rain, mind you–asking God a very important *URGENT* question.
Why am I here?!
And no, I wasn’t asking him one of those philosophical “Why am I here and where am I going?” questions. I was simply just one of those frowny kids with my arms crossed, sitting on a curb outside my parents’ duplex in a small town that borders Seattle, sitting not quite far enough down the street so that I could still see the light in the little bedroom that was now mine and my husband’s only real estate.
Yeah. It sucked.
Four months after getting married, we were in a tough spot. I was graduated with no great job offers being sent my way and our rent was about to be due. Matt was a janitor on campus in between his credits and that was enough to maybe buy us cereal–that we would eventually ration out, no doubt. We couldn’t stay. Every morning and every night it was the same prayer. Please send me a job. Please provide for us. I was sending out resumes left and right, desperate to stay in a town we grew to love. Please, God. I won’t ask for anything EVER again. (That never works, by the way).
But no job came. Instead, a prompting. It was a prompting I shooed away for a solid week before Matt called me one day after his class and said confidently, “We need to move to Seattle.”
And I knew right away he was right because I had been feeling that–very intensely–for a good week. But everything in my body and soul said no. I had no job lined up there, cost of living is ridiculous, all my childhood friends are moved away from there anyway, and Matt was about to be accepted into the Nursing program and wasn’t even close to being done with school. It seemed like an all-around terrible idea.
But two weeks, one U-Haul, and one 14-hour trip (with a bunny cage on my lap) later, we were moving into a room in my parent’s place. Jobless, school-less, penniless.
Why did you ask me to come here?!
I will never forget asking that out loud, face to the sky. Please, show me soon why I’m here. I’ll go where you want me to go, I remember saying, but I have no idea why it was here.
I never got a clear answer.
But just a few months later I was given a job that taught me so much. And then another one that was even better after that. Matt was accepted into nursing school. I got to be a primary teacher and then a counselor. I met some amazing people who will be friends for life. I learned about who I am when I have nothing. I started my blog. I picked up a camera again for the first time since college and started my photography business. We learned about what it feels like to be on food stamps and the hard work it takes to pay some pretty expensive bills. Six months after moving in my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Six months after that he was gone. And we were here for all of it.
It seems pretty clear in retrospect.
That’s how it tends to be in life. Heavenly Father will whisper to our hearts to go somewhere, to do something, to SAY something–and most of the time we stand like statues in the dark, hesitant to take that first step because…what if we fall? His timeline seems long and jagged and his reasons seem crazy most of the time. His will is often deemed unfair and his directions unnerving. And yet faith will allow us to say, “I’ll go”. And we’ll get to a point where we look back and notice that there is never one clear answer from the sky. Rather there is an accumulation of lessons, blessings, mercies, graces, and safety nets along the way.
Just a couple months ago Matt and I both felt like it was time to move out of state again. And this time–go figure–I’m still terrified. But Heavenly Father has this way of surprising us–of giving us a “hey I get it !” moment at the end of it all where we’re so grateful that we just shut up and listened.
Sometimes going where He asks is scarier than moving states. Sometimes it’s leaving a relationship or leaving a job. Sometimes it’s deciding to serve a mission or deciding not to. Sometimes it’s starting a family. Or a new career path. Or tithing after a hard paycheck and tight budget. But it’s always about moving our feet even when every instinct and every fiber of our being yells, “But why?!”
Because just like the truth that’s echoed in a simple–yet beautiful hymn– He will call me (and you) with that still small voice to places where we do not know. It’ll be dark. And we might never get an answer.
But I hope to always answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine: