August 3, 2017

Take Courage [part 2]

I am a planner. Everything in me wants to plan everything for myself and others, literally as much as possible. And yet everything about where I am right now was 100% God’s plan, not mine. In my last blog I talked about how hard it was to be in this season of unknown, waiting for these really specific things to be answered, because in my mind I felt like once those things were lined up (mostly a job and a place to live up here) then everything would feel good and in place. But ya know, the funny thing about being human and liking to make plans is that when one question is answered, we come up with new ones! (I’m convinced that’s what of the adult secrets you don’t find out until later — you actually never really know what’s going to happen, not exactly anyway.)

With the timing questions specifically about this move, God has been so good and so clear. Everything that was terrifying about moving up here has so clearly been provided and revealed to me. But always just in time -- right when I would start to feel worried about something like a living situation or job, it all lined up, but not much sooner than the "oh my gosh what if nothing works out" moment haha.

Thinking about how much my life has turned upside down in less than a year is actually mind blowing to me. 

One year ago I was preparing to teach a course at Azusa Pacific University for the first time. I had recently graduated with my masters, and I was living in a house in Duarte, CA with three amazing women/best friends. I was planning weddings, making flowers, and just starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with that work. 

Fast forward to October and I felt like something needed to change. Going to work at APU felt more like steps back than steps forward, and I started praying about that change and what it might look like and entail. 

I decided I was going to do three things I was terrified to do but felt like God was calling me to. And these were also things that I would always wonder, "what if" if I didn't go for it. It was three things really: take a break from weddings, plan a trip to Europe, and move to Seattle. 

I didn’t want to go to Europe alone but also didn’t know if any of my close friends would be able to randomly swing a two week trip to Europe in June -- that was kind of the only time I figured I could make it work between no more weddings and moving. But God came through big time and made a way for me to go with my dear friend Alison, and it was pure magic. I can’t wait to go back one day, because I’m now in love with England and France and want to explore so much more, but it was perfect experiencing it all for the first time with such a kindred spirit. 

While we were in Europe I ended up getting a job working for Seattle Pacific University as their Program Coordinator for the Marriage and Family Therapy department. It’s a wonderful position and my coworkers are lovely, and it’s exactly where I should be for this transition. Totally not a job I would’ve planned for or thought I would be in, but I enjoy the people and the position. And for the first time…..ever, I have a job that I can leave for the weekend and not really worry about until I come back on Monday. I have evenings just open, and it’s really ok if I don’t check my email until I go back into work the next morning. That has never happened. And the work is meaningful. Being a part of a program that prepares men and women to be quality therapists is so important and special to be a part of. So all to say, work is good and I’m thankful for this job for this season. And the fact that I left for Europe not knowing when exactly I would move and what I would be doing up there, and then coming home from Europe and less than 48 hours after returning I was driving up to Seattle to start work at a full time job the following Monday, is something only God can plan. 

Through this whole 180, I have been surprised of the things I already miss about weddings. I definitely am not done with weddings forever, but I can also already feel how important this time is that God has so specifically placed me in. A time for rest and reflection that I really haven’t experienced in a very long time. A time away from the familiar where it’s easy to say yes to everything, and forcing me into so much time of availability for God and for myself. Time to dream, time to reflect. Space to miss a passion that I had wondered if it was really an obligation (and it's definitely not). Space to miss people and places that are more important than I had realized. 

But also, in all of that, so much peace. I wouldn’t even say I’m homesick (yet, maybe I’ll change my tune). Sure, I have had moments of missing family and missing friends, but in a healthy way, not a detrimental way. It’s like God has just made it so clear that I should be here — but let me tell you, the outcome of all of this is ENTIRELY unknown. 

Also, LOL at the fact that I thought I was going to move up here and get my own little apartment and a dog, and I'm living in a house with six other girls haha I’m honestly so excited for it and know that it is exactly where God wants me to be, because the story of me getting connected with them is just crazy and so clearly the Lord’s provision, but also kind of hilarious because it is the most opposite of what I had imagined. But so right.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “that’s so great that everything is so clear and perfect for Megan right now”, then let me tell you, that is surely not the case. 

Here are some of the new concerns that are so quick to flood my mind: “How long am I supposed to be here?” “When should I try to do event work again?” “Should I be more concerned that I’m single?” “Should I ‘Put myself out there’ more? or at all? haha” “How invested should I get up here? What if I’m just up here for a couple of years?” “Should I be concerned more about my 401k or the stock market?!” These are all real thoughts I have had in the last couple of weeks. Just a few questions and unknowns, knew thoughts and realizations about being an adult, living somewhere new, and wondering what my purpose in life is. To say the absolute least. Really casual.

My whole childhood and through college I thought I would go to school, get married, start having kids, and plan some peoples weddings every now and then — probably be in Southern California for most/all of my life. 

But God has had such different timing in mind. Most things, I would have never chosen if you had talked to 16 year old Megan. But ask me now, and there’s absolutely nothing that I would trade or change!

We all have our own journeys that look so different from one another, because we were all made so unique. And so now we go to the Take Courage part of why I called this that in the first place. Take Courage is a song that my dear friend Rebecca showed me, and it has such a special place in my heart. It's a song I have gone to for encouragement and strength many times when I've felt so disappointed and weak.

I’ll put the song to listen to below, and I guess all of this post is just an overflow my heart right now, saying that I think there will always be questions. There will always be new things to wonder about, something new to consider, and new things that will seem so unanswered and mysterious. And it seems like God’s timing and stories for us sometimes (usually) look very different than what we think it will be, or sometimes even different than what we wanted. But He’s there, He knows, and He’s in the waiting. The waiting isn’t a time to wish away, but time to lean in. And as I do, I’m finding that he reveals plans that I could have never imagined. So take courage, if you’re in a season where you feel like things are unknown, you’re probably right where God wants you. He wants us more than anything to have reason to rely on Him, and then to jump into new seasons with him. And when you do, no matter what season or place you’re coming from, no matter how close or far you’ve felt from Him, I believe He has beautiful things in store. 

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