I lost my apartment and moved back in with my mom, my small group/Bible study dissolved, and I began to question what in the world God has planned for this now-30-year-old single lady. Certainly this wasn't it, right? Longing to regain independence, feeling hopeless about my finances, wondering if I was at the "right" church for me, succumbing to anxiety and depression, considering quitting photography for the umpteenth time, knowing darn well that I have much more to offer than I'm actually giving - but how, where, when and to whom?
I was able to escape my inner turmoil for a bit when Mom and I went on vacation to New Mexico at the end of March, which I absolutely loved. It was there that I started to wonder if I should abandon my home of three decades and move out of state. Of course, it would have to be arranged by God, because how would I even go about doing that? I love The Salvation Army and wouldn't want to give up working for such an awesome organization. Could I keep my job somehow?
One night in Albuquerque, I posted in a national Salvation Army Facebook group for my "counterpart" colleagues (employees in other states who do similar work - website, social media, etc.) to share if they've ever transferred their job within the Army. When asked where exactly I wanted to go, I responded that I honestly wasn't sure but probably somewhere in the West or South. I also mentioned it was something I would consider in the next year or so, certainly not expecting what would come next.
Within 24 hours, I was invited to apply for jobs at The Salvation Army in California and Georgia. In a whirlwind week, I completed initial interviews, with agreement from the West and South that I was a top candidate for both positions.
I went from crying on the floor in my mother's house just a few weeks prior, desperate for God to make a move on my behalf, to being presented with two amazing options for new life. Interestingly enough, the last time I cried on the floor was during the only period I lived out of state (very briefly in Brooklyn), and that day also led to new life - my salvation.
After much prayer and counsel as well as follow up interviews, I thanked California for their consideration and decided to pursue the job in Georgia. It has been a long process - 2 months from when the position was first presented to me, to when I recently received an offer and accepted. I am tentatively moving down during the last week of July and visiting the Metro Atlanta area this coming Saturday, June 18th through Wednesday, June 22nd to hopefully find somewhere to live.
I'm both excited to start a new chapter and terrified to leave all things familiar. New Jersey is home and always has been. I even have a freckle shaped like it on my nose! But staying in my comfort zone is a surefire way to stay stagnant - which is exactly how I've felt for the past several years. I have to believe that God has a greater plan for me; one that may feel uncomfortable for a while (I'm already prepping my family to receive weepy phone calls) but will launch me into my destiny and help refine the woman of God I desire to be.
It's very fitting that this past weekend was an annual church retreat in Ocean Grove. I really needed time with the Lord, away from all the details of my upcoming move. Not only did I worship more freely than ever before (and man, did it feel good!), but I also had a vision of me of Jesus dancing in a field. This may sound weird, but it actually felt like He was my boyfriend - which is a label I've never used for Christ, though others have, and I totally get it now. The vision was all about trust and being in love with someone who can truly take care of you. Falling into someone's arms who can and will hold you up. If I could unflinchingly trust Jesus that much in all areas of my life, imagine what it would look like! If I were to learn on Him and not myself, surely things would skyrocket past my wildest dreams. This relationship is what I want to carry with me down to Georgia and for the rest of my life.
Here's to answered prayers, friends. Here's to new beginnings <3
"I'm learning that it is more valuable to step out in faith for God to use me than to hide away somewhere in my Christian walk where I won't risk a bump or a bruise." -Chrystal Evans Hurst