Grand Rapids finally feels familiar. Five months of relying on my GPS for travel and my sister and colleagues for any and all social interaction, and I’m finally now semi-confident in my ability to get from point A to point B and I have actual friends that aren’t related to me or from work that I see regularly.
I’ve caught myself waiting for all of this - this life and job and place - to feel perfect. I never got the gut feeling about coming to GR so I was waiting for some assurance after being here. After a lot of waiting for some major come-to-Jesus moments, I’ve realized something. This new season may not be perfect. Life never is. But its right.
The people I’m surrounded by - students, friends, colleagues - have convinced me of this. My colleagues know me and support me. My students challenge me (in good and bad ways) on the daily. My friends are figuring out all of my weirdness and not running away (PRAISE).
Last night we were studying John and we talked about John the Baptist. One of his qualities that I’d never really noticed before was his willingness to be called, not only into a situation, but also out of one. He was up for whatever God had in store.
If I’m being really honest, I came into this season hoping it was temporary. “Here for the year” was my mantra because, while these kiddos deserved one teacher to stay the year, I wasn’t sure I wanted more. I’m not saying I’m a lifer, one of those ancient teachers who tells all the “Back when I started teaching 700 years ago…” stories. But somewhere along the way - through the stress and the victories - my heart opened up to the idea of this place as something more lasting, some place to grow roots.
I’ve realized the one of the biggest mistakes I could make is to hold back. I’ve been scared to join a small group or serve at youth group or really invest in a lot of relationships because I don’t know how long this season will last. But that fear has been holding me back from something beautiful. God wants joy for us. He wants life, and life abundant. And I can’t do that if I’m too busy wondering when I’m leaving.
So if I’m called to a decade here or just a few years, I’m ready for what’s ahead and content to let myself settle in this soil. It’s a dangerous thing to place your life plan in God’s hands - but it’s also oddly comforting. Perhaps it’s because, while I’m giving up my illusion of control, I’m handing it over to the One who should be in control anyways (because He’ll do a way better job anyhow…).
As always, I love you for reading this, whoever you are.