Four years ago, my life had begun changing. It is so strange to look back and see the person I was then, reading journal entries from July to the person I was in September of 2016.
But then again, I had that moment. The ‘Come to Jesus’ moment we all never really understand how it all happened but damn did it happen. That late July night at 7pm at the light of Lebanon and Tollway.
I told HIM to take the wheel. I would be the vessel but obviously I was miserable from choices I was making and couldn’t be trusted to make them. The three days after that decision are still vivid in my memory. I remember doing each of the things that would make it possible for me to move the following August. I don’t consciously remember thinking about those decisions but just making them.
It was terrifying.
It is terrifying because I’m about to do a similar thing. Only this time, I don’t have any master plan.
But I realized that didn’t matter today. It doesn’t matter because I made a pivot in my thinking that night four years ago, and it has blessed my life.
It has strengthened me, it has saved me, it has carried me.
I stopped looking for storms in my life. I stopped seeing what the Lord took from me, but instead saw what He brought in.
The last three years in Charleston have been a series of growing, stretching, and breaking that I could not have predicted. I have responded to situations differently than I would have five years ago.
Gratitude is 89% of it.
I stopped looking for broken things that didn’t get put back together. I had me favorite mug break this morning. The handle just snapped off. It hasn’t been keeping my coffee warm for a while, but I’ve been ignoring it.
So when it broke this morning I had two thoughts.
Where is my superglue? And…
Should I really fix this? This mug is from a different phase of my life, of the life before, of what I wanted when I didn’t want to behave, didn’t want to be something everyone thought I was.
It was in short a representation of my rebellious moments.
Did I really want to bring that person into the new stage I am this week?
Oh yeah, I packed up the UBOX yesterday so it’s not like I can just grab another mug for my coffee.
I also packed all of my spatulas. Which means I could not cook last night.
Looking for Rainbows
So what exactly, does this have to do with my gratitude?
Easy, I have been holding on to the rebel in me, for no reason, because I didn’t want to let that part of me go into the past.
I want to carry her everywhere because she got things done.
She graduated college, she worked her but off to not have roommates.
But she was always angry. There was no sunshine in her life. She was in a word… boring.
She didn’t make friends, she didn’t go out into the light. She was jokingly referred to as a vampire becuase she’d hiss when her first roommate would turn on the light.
The thing that I realized this morning that didn’t really hit till that mug broke was this.
She isn’t who I am anymore.
I got some of that last night while my roommate and I were discussing how God works in our lives. About how I focus on what HE gives and she sees what he removes.
But it wasn’t till this morning while I was trying to do my scripture reading, that it hit me.
I used to do that.
I used to look at just what he took away.
And I can tell you when that stopped.
July 25th, 2016.
At Lebanon and DNT Tollway waiting at the red light.
I was in the right lane. There was a big truck in the left lane. I’m pretty certain they saw me balling and figured I was crazy.
I can tell you I was listening to 102.1 The Edge. It was probably ‘Leader of the Broken Hearts’ by Papa Roach.
And the thought that came when I was looking at my choices was so clear. So right.
You don’t have to stay in Texas.
And with that thought, I was out of the box.
I was out of the situation I had accidentally boxed myself into. Suddenly the dream I’d had in college of moving to Miami wasn’t impossible. It was crazy. It wasn’t exactly the most thought out plan in the world. But I had nine months to figure it all out.
EH, that’s up for debate. But I did leave. I did clear out my apartment by August 7th, 2017 and start an adventure.
Wednesday, September 30, is day 1150. I find it fitting that I begin another adventure on such a day.
I’ve known for over a year that this day was coming, that I was moving on to another place, another space, another person. Because I’ve been somewhere else and come here, I can tell you that what Alice said about being six different people since then is true.
I have even less of a plan than I did when I left Texas.
Sure I have employment lined up, I have a place to stay, I have an idea of where I want to live.
But do I have any big overarching plans?
Nope, not sure why. Every time I try, I get the same feeling.
I don’t know who I’m going to be when I get there on Thursday and to make plans for that person isn’t going to work.
She’s going to have her own ideas, her own feelings, her own experiences.
So instead I’ve decided that my first full morning in my new state will be spent coming up with the plan.
But I can tell you one thing.
She’s looking forward to it. My parents are a little less worried this time though my mom did demand my driving route.
So to those of you sitting on an adventure, be it one in your house, in your life, in your hopes–take a moment to realize that dream is there for a reason.
And fight for it.
This weekend was filled with reminders that the biggest, scariest decisions are the best ones in our lives.
I will vouch for it. My second best decision was leaving Texas.
My first was being twelve and deciding that looking pretty was a waste of time for my teenage self. A story for another time though.
Find your hope, find your joy,