Have you ever made a decision you thought would change your life in the best way possible—only to have God take you in an entirely different direction? Suddenly you’re in a chapter of life that you didn’t expect, but one that will most certainly impact the rest of your life.
It was the crisp mountain air, the changing of the fall leaves on a busy college campus that acted as the backdrop to me making the decision that I would live there forever. Bozeman, Montana became the place I called home and I told myself I would never return to Minnesota. But the Lord had a different plan. He knew that in just a few years I would be falling in love with a man who came from none other than the place I said I would never go back to.
Steve and I talked about Minnesota, about being closer to family, but we didn’t realize how soon the transition would be until we had Harper, our little girl. So we made our plans, we mapped out our course, and prayed fervently on the decision we made. Harper made her appearance and before you knew it, we had a trailer filled and we were headed east, with snow-capped mountains in the rear view mirror.
The months following that day were some of the hardest and most trying days I’ve ever gone through. It was my 40 days in the desert. (Or, more like six months, but who’s counting?) All at once, I lost the little things in life I was certain of—my hobbies, my favorite coffee shop, my community. Now, I was dealing with traffic, googling where my local Target was, and making countless wrong turns. From the smell to the scenery to the people, everything was different and I did not like it. All I wanted was to go back—back to comfort, familiarity, and peace. But that’s how I know the Lord is working, because he always wants what’s best for me, and getting me out of complacency is one way he does that.
If you were to ask me how I feel about this chapter I’m in, I wouldn’t shy away from telling you I’m still working on it. I’m still learning that I have to embrace the season I’m in, in the location where I was placed. In February, Eagle Brook did a series called Raising The Bar where Jason Strand talked about being the salt and light of the world. He said that “God has strategically placed you where you are.” This blew my mind because I finally came to terms with the fact that God has strategically brought me here for a specific reason, as an ambassador for Christ.
Learning to thrive in this season reminds me a lot of Esther, from the Old Testament. Shortly after Esther became Queen, an evil scheme was contrived to kill all of the Jews in the land. Esther knew that her people needed her to do something to save them—she was their hope. But she had to take great risks to do this; she had to leave her comfort zone entirely, and trust that God had a plan, even when she couldn’t see what the outcome would be. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, encouraged her during this time, saying, “Who knows but that you have come [here] for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
So now, when I think about this chapter, I think, “God what are you up to?” I’m learning that I am ready for what’s ahead because He placed me here for such a time as this, and He is not about to leave me alone or unprepared.