Life { Faith } Tea

and ramblings on everything in between

On Waiting

It’s the time of year when we reflect on where our life is at and where we want it to be. Even die-hard haters of new year’s resolutions can find themselves assessing their situation at the turn of the year even if they don’t want to admit it.

Open Road

I spent most of 2013 dreaming about a move. My heart was set on Oregon. I don’t know why, I didn’t think to question that. I spent a few years on the East Coast and loved it, so I figured the Northwest Coast would be just as lovely. Deep within me is a constant urge to explore and experience and wander, and going on three years in my current situation has me twitching. I spent a month purging my apartment of things I didn’t want to schlep half way across the country. I refused to buy a coffee table for my living room because I didn’t want it to take up valuable space in a U-Haul. I thought about all the mountains I would hike and all the like-minded people I would find.

I previously shared that the more I started including God in the planning stages, the more anxiety I felt, the more I could tell He was saying wait. I was a broken record, constantly going over the same conversation with Him.

Me: I’m ready for a change. Can you please help me to make this move happen?
Him: Be still.
Me: If I can’t move, can I start looking for a new job? Things have been so unsteady at work this year.
Him: Be still.
Me: Well, if I need to stay at this job, can I move closer to work? I’m tired of my 40-minute commute.
Him: Ashlee! Just be still already.

The conversations always ended with me going into a tantrum similar to the ones thrown by my 20-month-old nephew, who takes a moment to express his dislike for the decision that has been made, typically through the use of kicking and crying on the floor, where he then pouts and consoles himself until he’s able to rise and move on with life. Mine are of the internal, silent variety, but they are delivered with similar force.

We dreamers and seekers tend to find each other and roam in packs. We’re the only people in each other’s lives who understand why a perfectly good life isn’t perfectly enough without a little adventure. One such friend was talking about completing a graduate degree in international business in the Netherlands when out of the blue he bought a house a few minutes from where he grew up. It was as if he snapped his fingers one day and decided, “Never mind, this life will do.”

One night while he made me dinner in his new kitchen, I asked him what had happened. He responded, “It’s not such a bad place,” referring to St. Louis.

For me, it’s never been about if it’s a bad place; it’s about if it’s enough. Will any place ever be enough for a dreamer?

I decided to attempt to snap my fingers, too, only I didn’t buy a house. I ventured into online dating. Maybe if I found a Mr. who would let me be his Mrs. then we would have no choice but to stay in the area close to family so they could help raise all the kids we would soon be having. The logical thought pattern of a girl, right? It took only two months of that for me to realize that I would rather be single than spend any more time trying to convince a stranger that I’m cute, smart, witty, charming, genuine, and normal enough to warrant a response to my email. Alright, I’m being a bit dramatic, but apparently online dating isn’t for the faint of heart.

The night I jotted down this post idea – writing all of it in my head as I drove the 40 minutes home from work and having yet another quiet hissy fit when I got it all down – I opened my Bible to start reading where I had left off the night before, not realizing then where I had stopped.

Psalm 23.

Even if you aren’t a Christian or don’t go to church, you’ve probably heard this one before. The one about God being our guide, our protector, our provider. The one that reiterates that Christ followers shall not lack direction because He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

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“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23 (NIV)

*****************************************************************************

As if there hadn’t been enough previous evidence pointing to what He was trying to tell me, He went ahead and spelled it out as clear as day. My eyes filled and I sat motionless. What can you say to that? Nothing. All I could mumble was, “Okay.” I get it. I see it. I know.

I haven’t a clue what 2014 will bring, or the next 10 years for that matter. Perhaps I’ll still be in the middle of the exact same life I’m living now, just with an older version of me each year. But I know that for now God’s telling me to be still. I hope I can turn this situation into thankfulness that He’s so sure of what I need to be doing that He’s speaking up so there is no mistaking or denying His guidance.

Even though I dream that there might be a better, more exciting life waiting out there for me, I’m forgetting to realize and appreciate the beautiful and full life that is already laid out before me.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell

What will you do in 2014 to make your life richer? 

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3 comments on “On Waiting

  1. Chris
    January 4, 2014

    I think you can make the move, it is possible and you should do it if it is what you want. I just moved my family from the prairies to the Pacific NW and we are so happy we did it. We had everything in our old home and could have easily just sat in the daily routine and led a happy life. Instead we chose to chase those new experiences you speak of and now 2014 will be a year of new for us. Friends and family were shocked by our decision but ultimately were proud and happy that we were bold enough to just do it. You will be fine….. :)

    • Ashlee
      January 5, 2014

      Thanks for reading, Chris! I’m glad the move has been a positive experience for you and your family. I know that when the timing is right I’ll know it. If I’ve learned anything since becoming a Christian, it’s that God knows what we need. He’ll provide when the timing is right. Happy New Year!

  2. Pingback: What Life { Faith } Tea Means to Me | Life { Faith } Tea

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This entry was posted on January 2, 2014 by in God, Life and tagged , , .

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