When I tell people that I moved from Austin to small town Southeast Texas they look at me as if I’m crazy. Wide eyes, strained eyebrows, gasping mouths. They quickly ask me “why?!” but it comes out more as a declaration than it does a question.
I get it, it sounds crazy. But what’s even crazier is my response –
I tell them that I actually love being here because it’s exactly where God wants me to be right now.
I was genuinely terrified of this move. I was scared I was going to hate being here. When we felt the calling to move here we justified it as being a temporary move. “Sure God, we’ll go but we need to know your exit strategy. Get in, get out – we’ll give you 6 months max.” It was a cute attempt control God’s plans.
So the move happened. And I waited for those feelings of regret and anxiety to creep in, but instead I was filled with a surprising peace. You know, that peace that passes all understanding – I experienced it. I couldn’t quite explain it. But I knew it was real.
Within days I was making friends, not just friends of Joshua’s but friends of my own. Our church immediately felt like home, Sunday after Sunday God confirmed our path. Our businesses started growing naturally. Our creativity and energy was revitalized. Not only did I have peace, but we were making progress – without having to force it. And I have to tell you, it felt like drinking an ice cold glass of water in the middle of August in Beaumont, Texas.
It’s not that everything went smoothly or perfectly. We still have real struggles, moments of doubts and questions. This move looks nothing like we thought we would, and we’re nowhere near where we hoped to be.
But that peace never leaves us – even on the hard days.
And while I can’t quite explain it, I know that there has been a shift in our atmosphere because we’re where God wants us. And that feels so good.
So to be clear, our “plan” for this move hasn’t worked out…at all. We moved thinking our focus would be on a 6 month plan – have a baby, build a tiny house, get out. But instead our focus has been on building relationships, growing our businesses, creating connection and community – you know, long term things. Things that start out as tiny seeds and with time and tending sprout into beautiful blooms – things that have to take root. And thats when I knew that God was calling us to stay longer than 6 months. And instead of panic, anxiety or resentment…I felt peace, joy, excitement. Ya’ll God can only do that, especially when it involves a move from my hometown, my family and of the most popular cities in America to Silsbee, Texas.
Psalm 119:35 says “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” – and that’s exactly how God works.
He doesn’t give you what you think you want – He gives you what He knows you need, and in His goodness he even reshapes your heart to love those things.
Because he’s doesn’t want us to be miserable in our obedience, he wants us to be free in our obedience. He wants us to find freedom, joy, love, peace in our faithfulness and obedience to him. And the amazing thing is, you will – He promises you will find those things if you follow Him with all of your heart. You just can’t control where He leads you.
I didn’t expect to be here, and I didn’t expect that I would like being here. But I should have – because it’s God plan. I know that if I’m truly open and obedient to Him then he will be gracious and faithful to me. Because He loves me and he wants the absolute best for me.
I don’t know the path that God is calling you down, but I can tell you what you will find along the way. Peace, freedom, joy, love, hope, community. And that’s not because of who you are or what you do along the path, it’s because that is who God is. It’s because He is good and he loves you that much.
So wherever the path is and whatever it may look like, I pray you’ll walk it with Him.