A year ago I discovered I could graduate early and I was so excited. That meant I got to move to Denver (my ideal destination) a whole semester earlier than expected!
But God said stay, and so I did. The plan was to stay until this May, and then move back to Denver. Every opportunity I have to leave I want to take it. Albuquerque is a wonderful little city, but I dream of Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Denver. I want skyscrapers and trains and city lights. I love big cities, and Albuquerque just can't compare.
So as I am faced with decisions about what to do with the rest of my life - and where to go - I started dreaming of all the big cities and what I could do there. But the longer I stay in Albuquerque, the harder it is becoming to leave.
Without meaning to, I found myself in a community that I love. A community that loves me, that invests in me, that wants me. A community that I want to invest in and be part of. A community that would be so hard to leave for the perks of a bigger city.
The idealistic side of me says go, start over in a big city, how millennial of you. But the realistic side of me asks 'how will you ever say goodbye?' and even worse - do I want to?
I came back to Denver this weekend for a breath of fresh air and on the drive home from the airport I wondered what to do. I wondered why I felt so drawn to Albuquerque, why I couldn't shake what God is trying to do with me in this little city. I wondered what happened to the selfish part of me that would travel and leave and only care about my own wants and desires.
Maybe, just maybe, I'm finally learning that it's not about me at all.
Maybe, just maybe, God placed me in Albuquerque three and a half years ago because He knew about this season right now, and He knows what's to come.
Maybe, just maybe, God takes us out of our comfort zones because He's working on something bigger than us, and we're privileged to be part of that plan.
Maybe this is where I was supposed to be all along. And the ability to even consider staying when I want to live in a beautiful big city is a huge step.
I've been reading Exodus in the Chronological Year Long Bible Study (YouVersion, you guys - the best). I've also been hearing a lot of people talk or write about Moses and the Israelites wandering through the desert. Maybe everyone else is on this same plan, but for whatever reason, it seems to be the constant reference in my life right now.
I've always glazed over the middle part of that story. We like to focus on the beginning when God defeated the Egyptians and the end when the Israelites finally reach the Promised Land. But what about the middle? What about the forty years of wandering?
There is no way any of those people woke up and chose that. I imagine most days it was a challenge to keep going and trust that the wandering would take them to the promise. The more I learn about their disobedience and complaining about wandering in the desert, the more in awe I am of God who did not take His promise away from them.
It was right there waiting, if only they would tolerate the desert. If only they would trust God that His redemptive plan is much larger than their ideal zip code.
I'm not promising I'll stay in Albuquerque. But I am sharing that God is doing a work in my heart, pulling me away from what I would ideally like and towards what He wants to do. Perhaps He's trying to say the same thing to you today.
The wandering will end.