Tag Archive | Texas

Singing A New Song

One year ago… today…  I drove away from home. It’s the second time in my life when all my possessions were tucked away into a truck to be hauled miles and miles away from the place I called home.

When I left Michigan, it was hard, but it was for work. I didn’t have a lot of options and that seemed like the best one. When I left the eastern panhandle of West Virginia/northern Virginia area, it was a totally different move.

A kicking and screaming move.

An exciting move.

A “I’m scared to death to do this” move.

A “I have peace, but no understanding” move.

A fully surrendered move.

Now, here I sit, one year later, and I’ve gained no more understanding than I had a year ago. I almost wrote this post with the intent to write about all the things I miss. The people I love. The job I left. The church that welcomed me into her arms every week and the hugs that embraced me – tightly and with a depth of love I long for today.

I can’t go there, though. It isn’t healthy for me and that isn’t where God is calling me to focus. He doesn’t want us looking back and living in the place He no longer has for us. When Christ calls us to Him, it’s important to keep our attention on the road ahead, no matter how frustrated we are with the process. No matter how foggy or dimly lit that road might be.

So, as you can imagine, I’ve been pouring over different scriptures to walk me along this path, looking for ways to intentionally seek after God’s direction, and turn into myself to see how He’s trying to transform me through this process.

Here are some things I’ve had to cling to during this process:

Connect. With God. With people.

Be useful. To God. To others.

Learn. More about God. More about others.

Love. Intentionally and completely.

No matter where we are in life, the road less travelled or often travelled, those things listed above will always be important. When things might not make sense to us or our world is confusing, those things above will always remain. They allow us the chance to step outside our own self and look at the bigger picture. The fullness of Him and His purpose.

It’s easy to sit in our puddle, pool, or pit of self-pity or doubt or funk. The truth is, though, that we need to be running harder and faster after Him. We need to have a circle of people surrounding us. I have a small group of ladies that I’m constantly throwing out prayer requests to because I trust them and love them. I know they feel the same about me. We all have the same goal when we’re living in community together – even if it’s 1,000+ miles apart. We’re called to walk life with others, be prayerful for others, and help those God puts in our life to know Jesus a little better every day.

Tonight, I will be hosting my first book study here in the great state of Texas, with a small group of women I’ve come to know. While I did not schedule it to begin on this day because of the whole “one year ago today” thing… this morning I’m sorta sitting here in awe at how God works out these little confirmations and reminders for us to hold onto.

He is good. All the tinewsongme. All the time. He is good.

***

You’ve brought me to the end of myself
This has been the longest road
Just when my hallelujah was tired
You gave me a new song

I’m letting go
I’m letting go
I’m letting go
Falling into You

I confess I still get scared sometimes
But perfect love comes rushing in
And all the lies screamed inside go silent
The moment You begin

I’m letting go
I’m letting go
I’m letting go

Falling into You

You remind me
Of things forgotten
You unwind me
Until I’m totally undone
And with Your arms around me
Fear was no match for Your love
Now You’ve won me

And if I lived a thousand lifetimes
And wrote a song for every day
Still there would be no way to say
How You have loved me

Oh, how You love me
And that’s how You’ve won me

 

Waiting and Hoping and Believing

When life doesn’t do what we expect it to do, as believers, we can only do one thing.

Hope.

Some people think hope is a dirty word. “I hope for _____” and “I hope I can accomplish ____” or whatever your hope might look like in your world. It is not bad to hope for things, friends.

Abraham hoped… Romans 4:18-21 (NLT) 18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”[a] 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

Hope provides us with an opportunity to have faith. Abounding faith! Believing that what God has promised us will come through, in His time, is hard, but crucial to our walk with Him.

When I was preparing for my move to Texas, I had a great “feel” on a job with a local non-profit. My manager put in a call to their management and sent a recommendation letter on my behalf. I knew – I just KNEW – that the job would work out and it was perfect for me.

The job didn’t work out. I knew it was perfect for me. God knew it wasn’t.

I had a choice at that point; I could stop hoping and believing in God’s promises to me or I could move forward, in faith, that God wasn’t going to lead me into a place of despair and just leave me there. It was the perfect opportunity to allow my faith to grow even more. Figuratively, I could look at my resume and find that it’s “as good as dead” and that I would never find the place He has for me. But, like Abraham, I want to choose not to waver in believing God’s promise.

It isn’t easy. Sometimes I want to waver. I want to tuck my tail, and run home. I miss my friends more than I ever thought possible. I thought I would be working by now and have my mind distracted from the people, things, and places my heart longs for. All I have to lean on, hope in, depend on is God. And He has to be enough for me.

He is enough.psalm 130 jshih

Galatians 5:5 (NLT) 5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.


Psalm 130:5 (NIV) I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Whatever it is that you’re hoping for today, have faith. Believe in God’s promise to you. Hold on to that hope and keep walking the path He lays for you. His path is perfect. In obedience, we aren’t promised that the path will be without struggle – but we are promised that His plans are best.

Wait on Him. In His word put my hope.

Repeat.

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Repeat.

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Repeat…

And then, BAM! I live in Texas.

I’ve been having a hard time with this first blog post, from my new home. In part, I feel like I have too much to share. In part, I don’t know what to share and what not to share. And finally, some of it is really good and some of it is a struggle.

All in all, it’s a bit overwhelming because there is just so much in my head, heart…

I’ll start with the good, easy stuff… like the drive down. It was really good! The three vehicles were: mine in the lead, my mom behind me driving the rental truck, and my man child taking up the rear in his own car. Aside from having to be constantly aware of the other two vehicles the whole time, it was a good trip. I had a plan to listen to Pride & Prejudice on my way down, but that only happened occasionally. The rest of the time I prayed. And cried. And worshipped. And obsessed over the other vehicles in my care.

I was fortunate to have my mom stick around a few days to help me get some things done. Within a week, everything was unpacked and put away. I suppose that is one good thing about not working, but also one bad thing. I rushed through doing everything and then ran out of stuff to do. =]~

I’ve realized that I am way too dependent on my GPS and will be working through that. This means, I’ll have to allow myself to get lost a few times. I’ve also realized that I suddenly don’t care if my fat upper arms are showing. It’s too stinkin hot to be worrying about such silliness. 

The last couple of weeks have been more difficult. I’ve been dealing with a lot of my own insecurities and trying to figure out how to work through them. I feel like I’m being humbled in a way with which I wasn’t really prepared.

I am still looking for work, but I know that I know that I know how faithful our God is to me. In the meantime, it means trying to take in a whole new city, with lots of things to do all over the place, with very little resources.

Every weekend, I’m fortunate to have several churches to visit. That has been great. I’m able to see various types of worship styles, sometimes all in the same service! There is so much diversity here which is what I’m most thankful for right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to drive within a few miles and find so much variety in food, art, and people.

I’m not kidding when I say this post has taken me two weeks to write… I started it and then just let it sit on my desktop, open, ignored. Workin through it, y’all. I’m working through it. =]

In the meantime, I crave your prayers to find work and my sanity!

Now that I’ve made this “first post breakthrough” – I hope to be able to come with some more regular, normal stuff, that isn’t all about my drammaaaaa! 😉

Freedom Reigns!

I’ve been putting off this post.

I had to wait. To be sure. To have all the kinks worked out.

It’s true!

After months of planning and sorting and figuring, my man child will be joining me in Texas, after all! His plan was to stay here until next summer and join me then, but some things have changed and it means he’ll be coming now!

To say that my momma heart is OVERjoyed is an understatement. But, my momma heart is also a little sad. I know that he’s leaving everything that has meant anything to him over the last 10 ½ years, too, but he didn’t have as much time to prepare for it as I did.

I covet any prayers for his heart during this transition for him.

In other news, I’ve been really busy, y’all! My first couple weeks at home, I didn’t get as much done as I expected. I rested. And purged things. And rested. And purged things. I needed that rest.

I felt guilty, at first, but then I just didn’t.

Now, we’re less than two weeks out, I’m living with a houseful of boxes and a terribly messy dining room. It isn’t a glamorous life, but it’s the one I got. I’ve stopped grocery shopping, aside from essentials. I’ve packed a good bit of my clothes and shoes – let’s pray we don’t have some freak cold weather snap!

I’ve no news on the job front yet… I did have a really good feeling about one particular position, but it didn’t work out. It meant an afternoon of being bummed out on the sofa with some Dr. House therapy. I’m over it and know there is something better for me.

In all of this, I’m grateful that God has kept my heart. He’s kept my feet on the ground and allowed me to feel a tinge of “uh-oh” and yet held me from falling into a place of worry or concern. I know that, in all things – even this, He is at work and He is in total control. That’s the thing, folks… this total surrender, while it could be terribly scary, I’ve never quite felt a freedom like this one. He is faithful. I am in love with Him! His love and pursuit of my heart has been relentless.

This is the latest update – I can’t promise another post before I move, but I’m going to try!

My cup is full… and then some.

Today was beautiful with just a splash of suckiness…

Suckiness is not a real word. I made it up. It’s gonna be all right. And it was only a little “sucky” because I was sad.

For seven years, I’ve been held tight by an organization that molded me. Changed me. Loved me. Cherished me.

My heart feels full within those walls.

Today was beautiful because I had the opportunity to feel loved by so many of my coworkers. I’m not just talking about “there, there, darling” sort of love. I mean soul permeating love.

Love that floods my spirit. Fills my empty places. Pours over me. Envelopes.

I’ve spent most of my life not knowing how to receive love. This season of my life has been about learning exactly how to do that. I’ve had the very finest teachers and examples around me. I’ve had people who shine God’s love, so brightly, surround me for seven years.

I’ve witnessed men love their wives. Their babes. Others. Jesus. I’ve seen women turn to one another in prayer. I’ve been privileged to walk with young people while they get their feet wet in the “real world” for the first time. I’ve seen divorce up close. I’ve watched countless women become moms. I’ve held babies and babies and more babies. I’ve seen people I love fall apart and be knitted back together. I’ve had a front row seat to watch Godly leadership in full force. I’ve watched people come and others go. I’ve grown. I’ve changed.

I’m better still. He planted me in that place. For that time. For His purpose.

In this season, I’ve learned that God…

… is *the* redeemermy cup overflows pyp 001

… is my only hope

… goes before me

… loves with a relentless love

… has grace without limit

… shows mercy that washes my soul

… sees me as beautiful

… gives me community

… has a purpose for me that I’ve only just begun to see fully

… desires all of me

Most of all, I’ve learned that God loves me in so many ways. He loves me as His daughter and His beloved, for sure. But He also loves me in a physical way that is only understandable because of how I know Him. He has provided me with a group of cherished friends. A collection of confidants. A gathering of His people. This is what HE gave ME for no reason at all. Surely not because I deserved it. Not because I earned it or worked for it… but as His gift to me. He looked into my heart and knew who to place in those gaps and fractures.

He knew who would love me best.

He did that for me.

He saw beyond my filthy rags and saw the woman I’m meant to be.

This door has closed. He is paving the way into my unknown.

Surrender. Fully. Trust. Completely.

I am His and He is mine.

Around the world… err… states!

Still.

I need that right now.

In the last few months, I’ve been globetrotting. In my desire to do as much as possible before leaving, it’s meant… you know, doing as much as possible before leaving!

I’m thankful. So thankful.

blogNC

 

 

In February, I was in North Carolina meeting

with some friends for the first time.


 

 

 

Winsome happened in Pennsylvania at the beginning of April.

blogNYC

Me and my favorite guy in New York City.

 

 

 

 

 

 We hit a day trip to New York City in mid-late April.

 

 

 

 

 

In early May, I went to Texas for work and took an extra couple of days to search for an apartment.

texas-state-flag

Texas, baby!

 

blogCA

The beautiful Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica mountains

 

 

 

 

At the end of May, we were in California for work and sun poisoning… though, that last bit was a surprise! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

blogTN

My Tennessee trip with all my friends!

 

 

 

 

Then, finally, last weekend I was able to visit the friends I met in NC, in Tennessee.

 

 

 

I’ve been blessed. Over and over and over again.

On Monday, I’ll be starting to wrap up my final two weeks at work. I’m grateful that I get to be around for one more summer picnic, happening next week.  I’m not looking forward to packing my office! I didn’t know I’d ever leave – I gots lots of stuff there!

While I need my still, it isn’t yet time for that. It will be. My still will come soon enough. For now, I beg patience while I just deal with life.

A whole lotta trustin’ goin’ on!

Things are coming together.

It’s really happening.

The road has been calling, gently, for years… with more force as of late. I’ve known this place wouldn’t be my forever for a long time. I just didn’t know where my forever would be.

Texas.

I don’t know if it’s for always. It’s certainly for right now. It’s like bright arrows leading me there, marking the path, showing me the way. Soon I go. I step out, into the unknown, and search for my forever.

I sat with my boss… mapped out my exit plan. It’s for real now. I’ll be jobless soon. And without insurance. And without a plan. Me. This girl. The one who’s HAD to be responsible for 20+ years has gone a little bit loco.

In Isaiah 41:13, it says, “for I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” And I believe it. As a matter of fact, 495031af504463258af2a2de48c2d74eI believe it now more than I ever have. Believing something doesn’t always mean that it’s easy, though. I know He is my help. I know He has gone before me – and, if I’m honest, I’m still a little bit scared. And a lotta bit excited.

As of today, I have the exit plan for work, an apartment in Texas, and a little more reality than I had a week ago.

I feel like that child, the one who won’t let go of her momma’s leg as she tries to leave for work. That’s me. Clinging to God. Just like that. I know He’s going to have to gently put me on my own feet and help me to walk along the path, but for today… I’m holding tight. Knowing He won’t hurt me, abandon me, or guide me in the wrong direction.