Well, an 11 month long break in blogging this year is definitely not what I intended. If you are a regular follower of my journey, I hope that through social media you’ve at least been able to tell that I am in fact, alive.
The last blog that I posted before this hiatus was titled Beauty in Bareness. I talked about appreciating the beauty that comes through bare and winter seasons. I think it’s quite fitting because much of these last 11 months has been me pushing and testing out that very idea- savoring life and finding beauty in hard seasons.
It’s been a challenging year in almost every aspect. Being stretched in leadership, wrestling with God over matters of the heart, encountering strains in relationships and work to a degree that I had not previously experienced.
Amidst this, I determined to press into searching out beauty and savoring life. I celebrated when I had a Spirit-filled reaction to a problem, I joined a book club of aspiring Jews, I re-discovered my love of creating art, I went on late night ice cream cake runs for no reason with my roommates, and I continued to commune with the One who created me. I have truly seen and experienced the goodness of the Lord in bare places.
During one hard week this summer I made the choice to fly to Spain for 2 weeks in late July, my only clue from the Lord being one word: rest. I’d been feeling something akin to a holy discontent for a while and I was desperate to figure something out. It felt kind of silly to cross the Atlantic when there are beaches only hours away from Gainesville, but I felt the Lord was offering me a gift and an invitation.
The word I had was rest, but what I really wanted was answers to the unsettledness I was feeling. I had no idea if either of those things would get accomplished in this trip, but I went anyway. I decided to not make any plans besides when I would fly in and out of the country and who I would stay with. It sounds adventurous but it was a little intimidating, honestly. To fly into a foreign country alone, with no plans, for no reason. I’ve become pretty comfortable with venturing out on my own, but I have a hard time with it when the reason isn’t clear to me and I have to admit that to other people.
Turns out that trusting the Lord to know what would give me rest and answer my questions was a good idea.
I’ve never experienced the Lord caring for me and giving me gifts in such tangible ways as I did on that trip. I planned nothing but ended up going to random fun events almost every night. A friend singing in a piano bar on the port, biking through the city to an all-Spanish house of prayer meeting, dancing at a Christian dj event, and exploring the Luna Mora festival by candlelight in Mijas. I made new friends from Germany, Spain, and the U.S. and spent quality time with old friends. I read the Psalms while walking old castle walls and gazed up at cathedral ceilings. I looked out over the glorious Med, savored coffee shops on Spanish squares, and spent countless hours staring out a window at the most beautiful view of Malaga.
I encountered rest. My mind stopped trying to solve all my problems. I drank deep of beauty and savored life. And through that resting and savoring, the Lord revealed the answer to my questions and the reason for my discontent-
It’s time to move.
I’ve been at Adventures for about 3 years now in non-official and more official positions. I have been a part of start-ups and stops, ups and downs, stages & prayer rooms, and it’s time to move. There’s more.
It’s a step of faith to leave without knowing what I’m headed into but if my past is any indication, I think that trusting the Lord will turn out to be a good idea.
It’s still hard to grasp but come the end of this year, I’ll officially be leaving my home and my tribe of the past 3 years in Gainesville, GA. I’ll be spending the month of January in Kansas City, then transitioning home to VA. At some point I’ll also be looking into spending some time in Mozambique with the ministry I was with on the Race. After that, who knows? Maybe I’ll finally go study dolphins or join an archeology dig like I meant to before the World Race.
Either way, whether I find out my next step before or after I leave, I know what I’ll be carrying with me. Deep growth in my identity & giftings, life-giving friendships, experience in pioneering & leadership, recognition of my worship DNA, fresh dependence on God, and a straggle-toothed dog named Spock.
I will be updating with more thoughts and details in the near future and quite possibly an e-newsletter, so sign up here if you’d like to stay posted.
Thanks for reading and joining me along the way, I am truly honored.
Here’s to the journey!