It was October. I had just crawled into bed, when, it was as if my soul whispered, change is coming.
Generally speaking, I’m good with change. I like new and different, discovery and challenge. So, for the next few months, I contemplated and pondered and scenario-played and prayed. And there was one thought that I just couldn’t shake: I want to go home.
I played and replayed scenario after scenario. I talked to different companies in different cities about opportunity after opportunity. I played forward what staying would look like, what leaving could mean. I put every extreme option on the table and played each one forward as far as I could envision. I had gut-wrenchingly hard conversations with people who love me enough to speak truth into my life. I admitted fear and frustration and clung on to hope for something amazing. And after five months, five job options that just weren’t right for one reason or the other, I had come to the end of the road.
And yet this nagging urge to sell my house had turned into the only sure step I knew to take.
And so I did. And it was that one bold step that turned into the catalyst for one of the craziest adventures I’ve been on yet. (If you haven’t read about it yet and want to, read it here.)
There were some desperate days. There were some rock-me-to-my-core conversations. There were exhilarating moments in preparing for a fresh-start ahead. But throughout the entire process, I learned a few things from wise, loving people and from the adventure itself.
- You don’t have to feel courageous to be courageous.
- Sometimes you don’t get to know the whole plan before you’re required to take the first step. Tip toe if you have to, but take it.
- When God has something to teach, reveal or show you, He will stop at nothing. (Bonus tip: It’s probably in your best interest to listen.)
- The journey is just as valuable as the destination.
- It’s worth taking time to swim in your muck. Unless you deal with it, the muck goes with you wherever you go.
- You can only be loved to the extent that you’re known. Be real, be honest and let people who love you, know the real you.
- Life is complex and tough and filled with unexpected twists and turns. Having grace for yourself and the people in your world goes a long way.
- Never settle. Dream big dreams and then go after them. Once they come true, take a minute to stand in wonder and then do it all over again.
Since settling in, I’ve been feeling very Midwestern and loving every minute of it. I’ve made beef stew in the crock pot. I’ve walked barefoot as often as possible through the grass. I made tater tot hot dish and homemade popcorn and chocolate chip cookies. I think I’ve made tater tot hot dish (not casserole, because in the Midwest, we make hot dishes) once in my life. I can’t remember the last time I made beef stew. And, while Mama Sheila makes the best chocolate chip cookies, mine will do when hers are miles away.
I’ve appreciated parking lots and roadway systems that make sense to me. I’ve slept with the windows open and been awakened in the middle of the night from a crack of thunder from a good Midwestern summer thunderstorm. I’ve breathed deeper. I’ve paused at the sunsets and the wide open spaces.
So, with a big exhale, it’s good to say: I’m home.