On Sunday, January 22, 2017 I will begin the drive to Seattle, WA from Gainesville, GA. I don’t know if all of my things will fit in my car, but I hope so. I have a plan of cities to stay the night and people to see one more time, and the expectation to cry at least once. I have a friend joining me for the drive and the voice “boy band” downloaded to my GPS. I feel ready, despite having no plan once I arrive in WA. I know finding the nearest Target and Trader Joe’s are definitely high on the priority list.
Looking back on the last 2 ½ years, I would sum up my time in Georgia as a typical Hallmark movie; Young city girl moves to small town Georgia, hates it at first but discovers there are things to enjoy and people to love, self-discovery ensues, and she returns to the city confident in herself in new ways.
The turning point happened in September, on my birthday. After a dinner that didn’t go as I had planned (aka many people not showing up), I spent over 2 hours in the parking lot talking to a new friend. And by talking I mean word vomiting – where you say everything you’re thinking and feeling without a filter, and oftentimes surprise yourself with what you say. I was struggling heart, mind, and soul and unable to help myself anymore. Underneath all my words was a whisper, a cry for help.
The Lord heard that cry, because after that meeting things happened one after another, like stacked dominoes falling down. A guest speaker explained the reason my soul continually felt exhausted: I was trying to be someone I’m not. I scheduled a 1-on-1 with this woman to learn more about me and how I’m supposed to operate. What was scheduled as a 1 hour session took 2 hours, and I think I cried for 1.5 hours of it. I was suggested a book to read and given many next steps.
I went to the bookstore to buy said book, discovered the price was more than $10 and put the book back. Then I stood there for maybe 10 minutes, finally convincing myself to buy the book because I would not have thought twice about the price had it been for anyone else. This is how I begin to love me the way I love others. This exercise turned into speaking more positive things over myself and speaking up for my wants and desires to those around me. I started forming an inner confidence I hadn’t seen or felt before. This confidence allowed me to email my boss with a list of requests for my goodbye party with no shame.
At the same time, my discussions with God evolved from toddler to adolescent. Over many, many weeks I learned that I viewed God as if I was a toddler leashed to her parent at the zoo. I gave Him full authority to lead, knowing I could wander within a small radius, and the cord would be tugged when it was time to move. But God wanted more from me, more for us.
God wanted to be partners. He wanted to hear I preferred to live in cities, I wanted to learn how to be a good boss through promotion to manager, and cappuccinos were in the top 3 reasons why I loved traveling to Europe for my job. He wanted me to know that if I had not struggled so greatly I would not have learned so much, I have a gift of writing – be it blogs or spoken word, and I really can trust my gut – and should when reading dating profiles and deciding to go on a date.
So it is with a new confidence I embark on a new adventure. I have confidence in God’s plan for me, the weight my voice and opinion carries, and I’m ready for whatever is next.