It’s interesting, I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about why I chose to stay in Ohio after I had very seriously started making plans to move to California.
I really, truly thought I was moving. I put in my notice at my job, and I started looking for jobs and apartments in Pasadena. I started getting rid of most of what I owned. I started looking at on-campus classes instead of online classes. I started planning a cross-country road trip and looking at Air BnBs and picking which National Parks I wanted to visit along the way.
And then, I stayed.
And now I have my own apartment in Cincinnati.
So what changed?
When I tell people I really felt God calling me to California and then just as quickly I felt God calling me to stay, I get some rolling of the eyes and some “yeah, I don’t think He really called you there just to change His mind in a few weeks.” Or I am told I had personal motives for staying.
I was skeptical too. But I really think the whole situation was directed by God.
I was set and ready to move. I wasn’t incredibly excited about it, but I felt God wanted me there. I prayed about it a lot. And a few times while I was praying, I kept thinking of the story of Abraham and Isaac.
If you don’t know the story, Abraham was told by God to take his son, Isaac, to the top of Mount Moriah and sacrifice him on the altar. Abraham loved his son and didn’t want to do that, but He trusted God. So he took Isaac and some wood and began the journey. Isaac asked where the sacrifice was, and Abraham said God would provide the sacrifice. And right as Abe is about to kill his son… God says STOP IT.
He never wanted Abe to sacrifice his son. He wanted to test Abe’s obedience to God and see how far he would be willing to go. Would he sacrifice his son whom he loved for the God he loved and served?
I feel like moving to California was a moment like this for me. God wanted me to trust him and be willing to leave everything I have here in Cincy to move across the country to a new place with new friends and a new job and a new house. I said yes, I would go, even though I didn’t want to do it. And then I felt God say, STOP. It’s ok. You were obedient. You can stay here if you want.
So I stayed.
Yes, a lot happened in those few short weeks, and a lot has happened since I stayed. But I’m confident the whole situation was led by God and that I made the right decision to stay.
Life is messy. And usually it doesn’t make sense.
But God can change our circumstances in an instant, and even though it might seem unlikely to us, His plans are better than ours ever were or ever will be.
I don’t know what is coming next for me, but I know 2017 will be a big year filled with change. And I’m looking forward to whatever that may be.