I feel like my life lately could be summed up by saying, “Well, that was unexpected.”
But the greatest adventures are almost always unexpected. At least, that’s what I’m finding here in this new adventure of mine.
Here’s what I did expect:
Spend the next few years working for Under Canvas, maybe in TN or maybe in MT
Stay in NC for a couple of months with Ben and Katie during the off-season, return to TN for a couple of months, then head back to the Smokies.
My life to be somewhat normal.
Funny story. None of those things turned out how I thought. Here’s where I really am:
I’m no longer working for Under Canvas. I work for the YMCA.
I’m now permanently living in North Carolina.
Life is weird, man.
Throughout this process, I’ve asked God several times, “What are you doing?” Honestly, don’t we all want to know the answer to that question? But the answer isn’t an easy one, and I’m learning that parts of it just won’t be revealed this side of eternity.
But, my friend Sue (who has been an amazing support and mentor in all of this) gave me a book when I began my adventure in the Smokies in September of last year. The book is Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. You’ll have to dig into the book to understand the title, but it’s about following the Holy Spirit’s lead in your life and what a great adventure that is. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:
Maybe life has taken some unexpected turns. … Life has not gone according to plan. I feel your frustration, and I empathize with your confusion. But that is the essence of adventure. The unpredictable twists and turns of life can drive you crazy. Or you can learn to enjoy the journey. The choice is yours.
Hear me when I say this: None of this was what I expected. None of this was even what I was looking for when I first felt that gentle nudged that God was doing something new in my life. I knew I needed change, but I didn’t know the crazy, wild, back road that change would take me down.
Our souls crave adventure; in fact, I believe we were made for it. But I think we often miss the adventure in our lives because we’re looking at it all wrong. Adventure doesn’t necessarily mean moving states or across the world, although it can.
Most often, adventure is just saying the next “yes.” Whatever that might be.
Another of my favorite quotes from Wild Goose Chase sums this up quite nicely:
Most of us are far too tentative when it comes to the will of God. We let our fears dictate our decisions. We are so afraid of making the wrong decision that we make no decision. And what we fail to realize is that indecision is a decision. And it is our indecision, not our bad decisions, that keeps us in the cage.
I often find myself afraid to move from what I know, from what’s comfortable. Fear is a terrible friend, y’all. I stayed stuck in this holding pattern for years because I was afraid to move forward, afraid to reach out and grasp God’s hand as He led me into my next adventure. Leaving the familiar, leaving Nashville, leaving the job I held for four years—that was one of the most difficult “yeses” I’ve ever said.
I have become well acquainted with discomfort over the last year—in a good way. Adventure is a disruptor. Everything I thought would be, even all I was content to keep the same, has been disrupted. But as I look back, Mark is right. I can let these changes and the unpredictable nature of adventure drive me crazy, or I can trust that God knows what He’s doing and choose to enjoy the journey.
So, I choose to enjoy it. Whatever this crazy, wild life looks like next: Here I am, God. Show me the next step.