Where I Left My Heart

I've wanted to share this little bit of info, to write this post, for a while now, but there have been so many unknowns and uncertainties that I knew it was never really the right time to say something.  At this point in my journey, however, I have been given the "go ahead" from the Lord to pursue something that has been on my mind for almost four months now.  Some of you might remember me mentioning dreams in a vlog back in May, in which I said that there was a dream that I believed God was planting in my heart and preparing me for.  Although at that time I though it was a few years out, I've been lovingly reminded that God's timing is not my own, no matter how many plans I might try to make for myself in the meantime.  So now I would love to give you all a bigger glimpse into my God-sized dream...

My dream is to move to the southern region of the United States.  Some of you might be thinking, "Well, that's cool... but it's not really that big of a deal."  If we could sit down and have coffee together, I would explain to you why it really IS a big deal for this girl right here, but since we can't physically do that, let me tell you it this way: I am not a person who generally handles change well, let alone likes it.  I'm not naturally spontaneous or flexible.  I doubt many would ever dare label me a "free spirit."  What I am is practical.  I am a huge planner, rarely a dreamer.

Which is exactly why I know this dream is of the Lord.  The thought of moving across the country by myself, to a new and different place, and on a small budget... yeah, that absolutely terrifies me!  It causes worried, anxious, and fearful thoughts to flood the heart of a practical planner like myself.  I have realized, though, that these feelings are completely of myself (if not the enemy).  Here's the crazy thing: at the same time, I am inexplicably excited about this dream, which is how I know this is straight up from God.  I see Jesus all over this, from the very first thought that popped into my mind in April, to the hours of prayer and petition on behalf of this dream, to the amazing ways that my trip came together to see and meet friends and explore new places, to coming back home and feeling like my heart was left somewhere along the way...

That first week being back was rough.  I struggled greatly between what I was unsure of for the future - the dream to move - and what I know is true of the present, to be faithful to where I am now.  So last Thursday I took a short day trip up to Lake Tahoe to journal it all out and to hopefully begin to figure out what the next step was that I needed to take.  I process through writing, and that day I journaled the following:

"It is so obvious that I just want to make the right choice.  I don't even know if there is a right or wrong choice right now.  What I do think is that there is a safe choice and a choice that requires serious faith.  To pursue my dream would require my complete trust in You, Lord, to lead me into what You have planned for me there.  To join in Your Kingdom work there.  My choice comes down to this: pursue the dream, or don't.  Trust You to work out the details, or let fear reign.  Do the "crazy" thing, or stay safe/comfortable.  Yeah, I would have to be a fool to choose the latter."

The answer I was searching for came through the Spirit giving me the words to write.  I realized that God was letting me know that the choice was mine... and although it would seem most unlike me to choose the crazy thing, the truth is that I have.  I have chosen to trust in the God who promises to lead us and guide us.  I believe that He is the giver of all good things and that He is calling me to a greater, more surrendered trust in Him.  He is challenging me to dream bigger than I ever have, to be more adventurous and flexible than I ever thought possible, and to have the reckless faith that He will make it happen.  Because if the dream is truly from Him,  I can rest assured knowing that He is already leading the way.

So maybe now some of you are wondering where I left my heart?  If you follow me on any kind of social media platform you've likely already gotten a teaser into where I am hopefully headed.  If not, here is what I posted yesterday on Twitter:

Tennessee.  The Nashville/Franklin area to be more specific.  After visiting those cities, exploring around for hours on end, seeing old friends, making new ones, and getting small glimpses into the creativity-based culture out there, my heart was stolen.  When I try to explain my dream to others, I am often asked, "Why Nashville?"  Honestly, I'm not totally sure.  But what I do know is that my heart longs to be there, loving those people, and being challenged in that place to become more of who the Lord created me to be.  Because I know deep in my bones that if/when I transplant, regardless of the actual location, it is going to be hard.  I know that I will be challenged to grow in a myriad of ways because there will be a lot of change and a lot of unknown.  I know that I will need to have a more abandoned faith, which is actually something that I have been praying about for months.  It is something that does not come natural to me, yet is something that I long desperately for.  And the truth is that the core of this dream, or any dream for that matter, is the call to an abandoned faith in God.  So if that is what is required of me, I will boldly exclaim, "Not my will, but Yours be done!"

So this is where I am at right now.  I am praying fervently and boldly asking for doors to be opened.   I am eagerly expecting the Lord to come through in miraculous ways, namely with a job and housing.  I am asking for others support through prayer.  I am seeking to be faithful to my current commitments, and setting them up to succeed for whoever may come in after me.  I am trying to save more money (the practical planner isn't totally gone) as well as trust God as the ultimate provider.

And friends, I would love your support, too.  Over the last few years, this community has loved on, challenged, and encouraged me in countless ways, and I cannot imagine pursuing this dream without y'all by my side.  I would greatly appreciate your prayer and petition on my behalf as I continue with Jesus, step by step, to walk into this dream.

Lastly, bonus points for any coffee cards, gas cards, and leads on jobs or housing.  I wasn't kidding on Twitter.  Ya girl will take all the support she can get :)

Praying for this city, for its people, and for where He might place me in it.