Let the record state, my writing schedule is booked for the next five years (pun...unintentionally intended.) While life will undoubtedly happen and shift things a little, the books I have planned to write are the books I intend to write...in the order that they've been plotted on my schedule. While new ideas are allowed and unavoidable, they'll have to wait until 2023 and beyond. I'm putting my foot down. For real this time.
(Remember when I said I had 18 ideas and I wasn't allowed to come up with more? Well....lets just say it's not going to take me five years to write 18 books.)
I've got some awesome things planned for you guys. And I'm excited. And it's really not a hardship to declare that I have no wiggle room...so, as it is written, so shall it be done.
Facebook reminded me of this post the other day. After I read it, I thought to myself –
Hello, stranger. I’ve got a better idea…
It was Thanksgiving 2016 when the thought of uprooting my life and planting it someplace else (for the second time in 3 years) appealed to me. I’d been in the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia) area long enough to know that the commuter lifestyle wasn’t going to be sustainable for me forever. You see, I live in a town where almost everyone I know commutes into the city; it was always considered normal. And when I would opt-out of activities with my co-workers after work, they would often argue that I should move into the city – but the city and my paycheck never really saw eye-to-eye. In any case, while moving is a chore I abhor, I was thinking about it. Texas was the place I thought I might like to go. It was further west, but not too far west; there was city, but there was also suburbia (my happy place); and I really liked that it was a state known for having its own unique personality. So, in the spring of 2017, I started looking for work.
I looked for months, applied intentionally, and received absolutely no responses. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Then the hurricane happened, and I was wondering if maybe Texas was a door God was intent on keeping shut. I mean, Texans were already known for being all about Texas – but Texans after the hurricane were bonded in a way I could not pretend to understand. I felt like an outsider who wasn’t capable of fitting in, and I immediately started to think of other places I might like to live. Tennessee. North Carolina. Arizona. California. I wondered if I could stand the cold of Connecticut, or if I wanted to go back home to Colorado. It seemed like every day I changed my mind, and that was frustrating. Not simply because that made it hard to concentrate my job search, but also because I think of moving sort of like I think of getting a tattoo.
My rule for tattoos is as follows: I have to want the same thing in the same place for at least six months, without ever changing your mind, before I get it. Now, I understand that moving states isn’t as permanent as a tattoo, but it sure is a whole lot more expensive and troublesome. Even more, it’s not a decision I was willing to make lightly. So, at the end of 2017 I finally decided, you know what? Why don’t I ask God where I should go? (Yeah, I know it was a bit backwards; but I really didn’t think about God telling me where to go. I think I just wanted Him to bless me wherever I chose to go, and He wouldn’t…for good reason, of course.)
When 2018 rolled in, I decided I wanted to try a new church. I needed to hit the reset button. I had been attending a smaller church in the area for four years; I had been serving diligently and faithfully to the point of burn-out, and that had become a trend in more than one area of my life. The tail end of 2017 brought with it a lot of exhaustion and frustration in my entrepreneur endeavors, my day-job, and my friendships. I needed something new, and I felt like God was giving me the okay to leave one church and find my home someplace else. When I started attending my new church (at the very beginning of the year) it felt right. It felt like home. It felt like maybe “relocation” might not be about where I live, but where I grow.
I wanted to be very intentional with God going into this year. I needed answers, and I didn’t want them to come from anyone but Him. When I asked Him whether I was staying or going, I definitely felt Him telling me to be still. Just—be still. I needed to rest. I needed to be present. I needed to be content in my singleness; in the job He’d already blessed me with; under the roof He put over my head. I also needed to seek Him. That’s it. The end. That’s what He wanted. So, I learned to be obedient. At my new church, I went to the volunteer orientation, I joined a small group, and it felt good to connect. Things at my job were changing, and in a good way. I was learning to slow down and not expect too much from myself. Even more, I was learning to trust and believe in God for my future and all the desires of my heart.
While I wanted to serve at my new church, it didn’t work out right away. I had auditioned to be on the worship team (the ministry where I had served in my last two churches), but no one had responded to my audition. Now, this church is so fantastic about communication (SO fantastic) I thought maybe the silence was a God thing. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be serving yet. I was supposed to be resting. I was supposed to be being still. So I didn’t follow-up; I didn’t complain; I just enjoyed worship from the congregation, stayed plugged into my small group, continued making my personal devotions a priority, and trusted God. Then, the week before Easter, things started to change.
I was at home. It was a snow day, and I got a message on LinkedIn from an internal recruiter who works for this company in Dallas, Texas. She told me they were hiring for an Office Manager, she saw my profile, and she wanted to know if I was interested in talking to her. I was immediately confused. First of all, that kind of thing doesn’t happen to me. I barely use LinkedIn. For real. I have, like, 35 connections. Second, I thought I was supposed to stay still; so a job in Dallas made me pause. Though, in the end, I decided the opportunity was too great and too appealing not to at least talk to her, so I agreed. Over the next four weeks, I had four video conference interviews—each one making me more excited than the next. The company seemed amazing, the people even more so, and the location someplace I’d wanted to be for more than a year and a half.
In the beginning of the interview process, I was praying for discernment and wisdom. I didn’t want to pray for the job if that’s not what God had for me. I wanted to be obedient, no matter what. That was more important to me than a job. At one point, I asked Him to make it clear to me if the environment they boasted of was actually as good as it sounded—and in the interview that followed, I got the sense it was going to be better. About halfway through the process, I realized God was giving me a choice…and I chose. I wanted Dallas.
I became certain this opportunity had to be mine. Not because I had done anything. Not because I had found the perfect job and was completely qualified. Rather, I believe it was mine because God was giving it to me. HE found the job. HE presented it to me. HE was going before me. The battle was not mine to fight. All I had to do was put my best foot forward, and I knew HE would do the rest. If I got the job, it was because of Him. If I didn’t, it was because He had something better. I believed it.
I was speaking victory either way.
After my last interview (which was on a Monday,) I was told that a committee met every Friday to discuss candidates who had completed the interview process; I was also told I’d hear my final update no later than early the following week. Well, it had been four weeks, and I was feeling confident. I was claiming the job as mine. I was telling other people to pray for me. When Friday came, I prayed it would be the day; that they wouldn’t need to do any further discussion, but they would make up their mind and call me. All day I waited for a call, and it didn’t come. As the hours passed, I grew more and more anxious. More than that, my mind started to fill with doubt. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t seem true, so I had to get myself out of my head. I had to press into worship and prayer; I had to remember who my God is; I had to remember that this was in His hands, and I was never in control in the first place. All weekend, I was listening to various sermons, worshiping in my car wherever I went, and reminding myself that I believed God could not and would not disappoint me.
Even if the situation turned out to be disappointing, God would not disappoint me.
On Monday, I thought to myself, Okay, God. I waited through the weekend. Today must be the day. At around mid-day, I got an email. In the email, I was told my resume and all the interview notes they had taken needed to be sent to the founder of the company for review. They hoped to have my final update soon. At that point, I just had to laugh. I knew God was telling me – again – I was not in control. I was not going to tell Him when I was going to get my answer. This was HIS deal, 100%, and He wanted me to take my hands off of it. So I surrendered. With laughter, I surrendered and I waited.
The next day, I received another email, informing me they wanted to talk to me the following afternoon. I wasn’t even upset that that wasn’t an answer but, rather, another invitation to wait. I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t anxious. I had surrendered. (I also figured…why would they need to call me to tell me no?)
The following afternoon, I got the call. And the call was my confirmation that God had done His thing, and my whole life was about to change. In two weeks I will be moving to Texas. Instead of living two hours away from the office, I’m going to live 15 minutes away. Instead of staying in a bedroom in my parents’ house (as it’s the only thing I can afford at the moment) I will be living in my own apartment. Instead of working in a position that won’t allow me to advance any further, I’m moving to work for a company that has an abundant amount of growth opportunities. This whole situation is above and beyond what I could ever ask or think, and I cannot wait. Furthermore, I can’t keep the story to myself. I look forward to sharing this story for years to come, every time someone asks me how I ended up in Texas.
I will always point up.
So to the person who wrote that post from a year ago? I say, ditch the list, baby – let’s live a little.