And don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but sometimes an answered prayer comes in a form that includes challenges and hard decisions and maybe some difficult feelings.
Approximately four years ago, my husband and I were in a small group and we all separately wrote done impossible dreams. Mine was to travel with my husband, to be fully dependent upon his work and to be able to adventure together. His was a similar one even though we had not fully discussed that as our one ultimate and impossible desire. It seemed, at the time, like a truly unbelievable notion. My husband was a server in fine dining but had a gift and passion for photography and fashion. I was working full time and was the primary income. Nothing was wrong with our household structure but we both were praying for a shift.
When I opened my studio, I knew that it wasn’t permanent. I sensed that I would leave it. I believed it would grow and become super sustainable and then I would walk away. I’ve said that since day one. I was clearly given that message and have been preparing for that day ever since then. I thought, in recent years, that day had come. When my eczema was so bad three years ago, I thought that was it. When the discs in my back flared up and I could barely stand, I believed maybe that was my time. But both those times, life made it clear that I was not to leave, not just yet.
The walk from that day of documented dreams to the fulfillment of them has been packed with shifts, physical pain, excitement, tears and adventure for sure. As I watched things begin to transition, I think deep down I never truly saw this hope becoming a reality. I prayed for it but a part of me, the fearful part of me, never wanted to change, relinquish “control”. In the end, I asked for a dream I wanted that I also was most terrified of. I had a million reasons why it never was right, why it never made sense. I never had peace…. until recently.
And to clarify, my peace is in the decision but not in the feelings fully. I know, without a doubt, that we are meant to move. I know that there is something greater in my life than the comfortable job and space I’ve been filling in Ohio for the past 20 years. I knew that the moment this opportunity was presented and yet, it has been the hardest to process in my heart. How can I walk through something in confidence yet feel 100% terrified?
I have never been taken care of. I started working at 14 years old. I’ve never trusted someone to care for me. I grew up without a sense of being cared for and learned quickly to be everything to myself, my son, my life. I would never depend on anyone for anything. I’ve never allowed myself to be that vulnerable. I have never fully put myself out there to possibly fall on my face. I became a mom and business owner and worked as hard as I could to control every moment of my life, to be successful, and I have been living in a life of comfort for a long time. Yes, we have had hard times and yes, my sense of control has been false, but I know for sure that truly my life has been and is so good.
And yet here we are, uprooting that all, moving across the country, leaving my job, leaving family and friends, our church, our support systems, everything. People say, “you will make new friends” but what if my heart doesn’t want new friends? What if I’m so full of all the friends I have and don’t want to make space for new ones? What if I’m scared to leave my friends and now watch their lives from afar? People say, “there’s something more out there for you” and “God has a plan” and I believe both those things so deeply which makes leaving so much harder really. The truth of the situation only makes my hurting heart seem less important because in the end, it doesn’t matter that this hurts, because it’s what is meant to happen.
I am so grateful for the dream coming true. The testimony of this answered prayer, the walk to get here, it’s all been so amazing and has grown my faith and confidence in ways no self help book could have. But I’m hurting right now in ways I didn’t know possible. I’ve only ever left a space to run away from things. I’ve never walked away willingly, leaving good things behind.
So for now, when someone says how good it’s going to be, I will smile but inside, I have a million things to process and feel because I actually love my current life. I am having a hard time imagining a greater group of friends, a more special relationship with my son, a closer bond with my small group girls, a more loving group of women to lean on than my Hot God Couch or a deeper confidence in my work abilities.
And then enters my Jesus, who promises greater things than I can imagine and I lean on that simple truth and walk.