Sometimes when I think about the word move, I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
You know, that feeling that you get that is a weird combination of excitement and anxiety and always gives you diarrhea… At least it does if you’re me… That is the feeling I get when I think about change and movement. You would think that because I have changed locations so many times that I would be used to it by now, but literally every single time I feel like my heart gets ripped from my chest and stomped on by the proverbial universe.
One of my friends recently said that if it didn’t suck to leave the place you were at, then you would have to realize that the decision to move there was wrong in the first place (which is a sucky realization) because the pain is just evidence that you care… I like that in theory, but sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much (that’s not entirely true, but you get what I am saying). The thing about moving forward is that there is always something behind you… Sometimes it is the arms of friends who will always be there, sometimes it is the looming fear of failure that you fiercely denied after leaving college without your degree, sometimes it is the broken pieces of who you were when the season you are leaving started, whatever it may be, there is always something behind you.
This may be a shocking statement to some of you, but I need to say it. As I was preparing to move back to Michigan, I felt like this is the first time I don’t have fear chasing me out the door waiting to pounce on me should I turn back. When I look at all of the faces of the people that I am saying goodbye to, I see love and kindness and I see a hope in them which is for me. This past two years of living in Redding have been so much about healing and growing, and I honestly can say that this is the healthiest move for me. I am moving in a positive direction towards what I want to do in life.
I tend to think in pictures a lot, so let me paint a scene for you. There is a trail near Redding called Castle Crags and it is a bear of a hike. It starts in a heavily wooded area with a trail that is a pretty steady and steep climb upward. As you climb, you can sometimes lose perspective of where you are because it all just looks the same. Eventually you find yourself above the trees and on the edge of a cliff. When you reach this point, there is a really nice flat rock that is covered in shade during the morning hours. Every time I have hiked this trail I have contemplated stopping in this spot because I am so tired and it seems like it is just unnecessary to continue on. There is a great view of Castle Dome and it’s breezy, pretty much everything you could want. To follow the trail is to continue to climb, and from this point on your footing becomes less and less sure. As you keep pressing on, each step takes you higher and higher on the side of the cliff until you eventually end up in the middle of all of these rock faces all around you. From here it is kind of a choose your own adventure kind of trail… There really isn’t a bad view from the top, but it takes sacrifice to get there.
I have found this to be a fitting metaphor for my life in recent years. I have been in places of pain that were disorienting and all looked the same… The past two years have kind of felt like my time on the shady rock. I have recouperated from the difficulty that was behind me, but I know that there is more to be seen. So I’m charging to the top! It is going to be challenging, but one thing I have learned is that I can do difficult things! I will not stop until I am dancing with the Lord in the place of His call and destiny for me!
Let me be clear though… This doesn’t mean that I have it all figured out… I am walking into a season I know little about, but sometimes that what makes it more of an adventure! Thank you all for walking with me in this and through this! I will try to write more regularly! If you find yourself in the forest, don’t give up! If you are on the cool shady rock, rest and be refreshed, but don’t settle there, the adventure gets wilder and better the higher you get! And if you’re dancing on the top, call down to all you see below and encourage them on the journey! Peace and love my fellow travelers!