Why Did I Move To California?
I've been wanting to write a blog post about the decision to move to California, and then I came across an old blog post of mine that solidified my writing this post. My husband, Jared and I have had the blessing of being supported by the people we love in making this transition to a new state. So, we haven't hit any backlash, but I still wanted to share some thoughts and even our reasoning. I like being open and know that God uses lives and situations to affect other people, and I have a message to share!
Here's the main reason Jared and I moved: We wanted to.
It's really ok to want things out of life. Shockingly, it's almost like God places desires in His people or something. It's almost as if, God wants to give His people the desires of their hearts.
I know I'm being a little facetious in how I write that. However, I really do believe that there are some people who need to hear that.
Growing up as a Christian, I know as well as anyone that to do anything purely for your own desires is a slippery slope in many eyes. There were so many teachings and lessons growing up about "callings" and "destinies" and "doing what the Lord has called you to do" and "being where the Lord wants you to be." I don't know about anyone else, but for me, that made it confusing to do...well...anything. How am I to know what my calling is if Jesus doesn't appear to me and say "Thus says the Lord?" Is there a magical sign that has to appear in the sky to let me know when it's time to leave my job? Do I miss the husband God has for me if the man I'm dating doesn't recite back to me the list that I created when I was 12 as a sign that he's the one? Questions like these seem ridiculous don't they? Then, why do we expect people to have an amazing story like this every time they make a decision?
I feel the need to share all of that because I can't be the only one who has felt that way, especially in my generation and younger, and I believe there needs to be a reliable, Christian voice out there reminding us the freedom that there is for us in our decisions.
Now, I want to put boundaries around what I'm saying as well for those of you who would chime in and say, for example, "Well, what if my 16 year old wants to run off and live with her boyfriend?" Ok, that's clearly not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about wants and desires that don't break the commandments, that are not out of line with God's word, and that have been considered with prayer and wise counsel (and in some cases husband and/or wife.)
I think there have been enough sermons about "Following the voice of God," that there needs to be a balance with, "And you have your own voice too." I don't want anybody else to be crippled by the doubt of their own decision making skills that they never make any decisions or do anything because there wasn't enough proof to do it.
I find the parable of the buried talent as an example. We can be very literal and take the term that was supposed to be a coin and literally translate it as our gifts and talents or we can look at it through the lense of the point I'm trying to make. We all know the story of the servants who were given talents from their master. The master then leaves them, but comes back later to check on what they've done with the talents (money, desires, gifts, etc) that he had given them. The first two servants had doubled what they had been given, but the last servant buried his saying, "I knew you to be a hard man...so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground," Matthew 25:24-25. As the story goes, the master was outraged, and there were some pretty terrible consequences you can read up on.
Don't bury what He's given you.
Because more likely than not, He placed it there for a reason, not only to benefit you, but the people around you. If you have a desire that's been there for a long time that you haven't done anything about because you've been waiting for a sign or you've been too afraid, don't wait anymore. He gave it to you, He's left you alone with it, He's waiting, and then He's coming back to check on it.
Test it out! Try it! Go. For. It. The worst you could do is fail. You could lose everything. You could hit rock bottom. However, "He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:26-28, 31
There are so many wonderful Bible verses as reasons to not be afraid. There will always be an excuse. There is one who doesn't want God's people to succeed. He will do everything he can to keep us from moving, to keep us passive, to keep us quiet. Follow the Spirit that God has placed inside of you. Sometimes, it's such a quiet whisper that it's easy to brush off, but if you've been reading this and had something pop into your mind as I've been talking, you've heard the whisper. Don't ignore it.
I've been doing scary things. I started a ministry with my family in January. I got married in April. I moved across the country in July. I know it's scary. But, I have seen so much reward, and there's even more reward that I haven't seen because my perspective is much more limited than God's, not to mention, all the reward that is still to come. I trust not in myself, but in the Holy Spirit inside of me, and God's promise to never fail me.
No one outruns suffering.
You can suffer the weight of never reaching your full potential in the safety of your own comfort or suffer the possibility of a failure that you've been promised help through, but that decision will always solely rest on you.
Of course, for my story, there are many other reasons Jared and I wanted to move/felt led to move/followed the Holy Spirit to move, but the key word in the sentence is want - have a desire to posses or do (something); wish for.
A couple key questions to run your desire/wish/want through:
Is this a sin according to God's word?
Have I prayed about it?
Does this harm me or anyone around me?
Is this something counselors I've placed in my life are excited for with me?
Is my spouse in agreement? (where it applies)
Don't underestimate having older, wiser people in your life and around you. You don't have to bear the weight of every decision you make fully on your own. Pray about who God may have placed around you to speak into your life. That way when confusion and adversity comes, you're not alone and not trying to hear clearly all by yourself.
If you've been stranded where you are in your life with indecision, I hope you find encouragement here. If you've been struggling to find courage to step out in a desire you've had, I hope you are stirred by this post. I'll end the same way Paul ended his encouragement.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."