Do you remember that moment that changed your life? That day someone said something unknowingly that stuck with you? Or the person you met/place you visited that you just can’t forget?
If you’ve known me in the last year, I’ve probably mentioned my birthday trip to Seattle 148 times in casual conversation.
When my parents offered to take me on a trip for my quarter-life birthday, I said “Oh yeah, Seattle would be great. I just want to read, drink coffee and walk around in the rain.” thinking that would never happen. Well shout out to my folks cause they did just that.
Since that trip ended I realized I left a little piece of my heart up north. The weather that everyone hates totally won me over. I loved the delicate balance of new, clean lines and historic character in their architecture.
The culture is the perfect combination of weird facial hair trends (seriously–every guy has a beard), casual comfy style, (my fave!) and a mutual love of the city and the outdoors. You see why I fell in love?
From the time I got back home my parents were waiting for the day I’d announce my big move to Seattle.
But then I found a house here in the valley.
WHY would you do this to me, God?
I had just experienced a trip I thought would change my five year plan–but here He was, doing his God-thing, tugging my heart in two completely different directions.
As much as I wanted to run to the romantic, cloudy dream I remembered from my trip, I instead planted roots.
In Acts 16, Paul is on his mission, trying to discern God’s plan for his time traveling. Eventually, he makes his way to two different cities he believes to be apart of God’s plan, only to be turned away and to hear “keep going, not yet”.
Sometimes those words are challenging!
A wise friend once told me to look back at all the times God said “keep going, not yet” or even just a straight-up “no” and think about how He saw the bigger picture. Everything I’ve seen and experienced since that “no” is proof that God knew EXACTLY what he was doing.
So, let me ask you a question. If you KNOW that God has a plan in your life, why is SO hard to sit down and surrender to Him? He has provided in the past, so why do you not trust him now?
Sometimes, we need to say no to good things, to receive great ones. Keeping our hearts focused on the true King who gives all of that is the only surefire way to contentment.
I’m a firm believer that every once in a while, God gives us a fork in the road–two equally good opportunities. We weigh, read, pray, and seek wise counsel. But the test he’s given us is not which path we choose, as both are a part of His will, but whether or not we trust him enough to actually pick one!
“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and conviction of things not seen.”
So, keep on truckin’ friends. Pick a path, sit down and surrender, and let God do his God-thing.
For me, Seattle is no longer a missed opportunity, but a lesson learned (the hard way!) about trusting God to work his sovereign will in all things. Maybe, someday, God will redirect me to the Northwest. Knowing him, probably when I least expect it. And I LOVE THAT. Because I trust Him.
What have you learned the hard way? Talk to your people. Encourage them to learn from your mistakes and seek Christ in EVERY decision. And don’t be afraid for the waiting. In those, hard, uncertain, lonely times, He reminds you of how precious you are to Him.