It's more than sneaky tweets or cryptic Instagram posts.
I don't think I've fully registered what just happened in the last 48 hours.
But as I placed the coffee cup sleeve from Muddy's Bakery in Memphis in the back of the airplane seat, the one I had been using as a bookmark for the last month, I realised I could throw it away for good because I'd be going back.
Back to Memphis and the grey sky and flat, open roads with struggling buildings and trendy new restaurants.
Back to my sister's dorm that was freezing cold and smelled like laundry detergent.
Back to Rhodes College and the bar in the center of campus that only had four beers on tap.
Back to Nashville and the streets that felt alive any time of day, any day of the week.
Back to the live music and new people and restaurants with lines wrapping around the building and I would stand in them this time because I had all the time in the world.
Back to visit the churches I have heard so much about, to see that church in the bar, to hear the pastors in real life and not just on a podcast.
In one day I was accepted to graduate school and signed a year long lease on an apartment with a dear friend who I have only hung out with in person maybe five times. And as I sat at dinner with another friend, almost a stranger who I had met on my first visit here, he pointed out that my life had just changed dramatically in one day. But I said no, it hadn't. I argued that it changed dramatically three months ago, and this day was simply the realisation of months of prayer and petition for a future. This day, April 28, 2016, was simply the product of my life changing all those months ago. God knew about this day when I felt like the ground had dropped out of my world back in February.
I've been careful not to write too much about the details. So for awhile I just didn't write at all, out of fear that people would recognise something or people might get hurt. But this is my story, y'all. And God was so good, so faithful, even when I was not. I can't not share that with you.
I'm writing this sitting in an airplane from BNA to DIA, with ABQ as my final destination. I can't get up, I can't move, but I want to jump and dance and squeal. I am finally understanding the gravity of what happened in the last 48 hours.
I got a second chance that I never knew I needed.
I'm going to be living in a city. A real city. Something I have dreamed about for the last four years.
My new address says "Nashville".
I'm going back to school. I'm getting my Masters.
I'm leaving my community, my family, my comfort zones, to do what I was always created to do.
To my core I'm a free spirit. I like to travel, I like to pack up and go whenever I want, I like to meet strangers, I like to try new things. I like to live fearlessly and boldly.
And somewhere along the way during my undergrad I fell into the trap of thinking that I couldn't live like that and invest in people. That I couldn't live like that and have relationships. So I chose relationships. And there was nothing inherently wrong with that choice - I love people and I want as many people in my life as possible. But to a certain extent, I lost that fearless way of living.
So this is fearlessness all over again. This is how I was created to live. This version of myself, who visits a city for three days and knows that's where exactly I'll end up. The person who makes plans to move states in only four weeks. The young 21 year old who stands in a room of university Deans and professors, all exclaiming how bold and scary it is to just move halfway across the county, with no better explanation or support other than "God called me" and "I like it here".
All I feel is peace.
I'm no different than you. I am not on my own fearless and brave and bold. These last four months I have felt anything but. I felt like my circumstances and experiences robbed me of any confidence I used to have. And that's when it became evident to me that my confidence is not mine to build.
Any confidence or fearlessness or boldness in me is only there because I trust in the God who created and is still creating me. Ephesians 3:12-14 declares "Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations for your behalf, for they are for you glory." We are not bold or confident or fearless by any means of our own. No, these things are made available to use when we act in faith. We don't have to wait for Jesus to make us more confident; we simply have to wait for Him to reveal the next piece of His plan and walk boldly into it, even when we don't know where we're headed.
I stepped out in faith to find God was already there. He always goes before.