Rewind: I got a superfantasticamazing offer to live at a summer camp (Maranatha) for the rest of my life and love on people, plan giant events, design some cool things, and have quiet time on the beach under the setting sun each night. That happened in July. After realizing I might want to move away from my community, post-grad panic began to set in. I did a really excellent (read: miserable) job communicating to everyone what I was really thinking during that whole process because I honestly just didn't know.
I decided a long time ago that I never wanted to settle for anything. I use that driving thought as a sort of compass for most of the decisions in my life. Am I taking the easy route? What am I willing to sacrifice? Will this make me stronger? So naturally my new job offer in a state far, far away from the loving arms of my Cincinnati community felt like true north on my adventure compass. It hardly sounded like a piece of cake, but the job description was pretty close to my dream job. Working closely with people in a ministry, using my gifts of design, organization, and even dance to have a meaningful impact in the Kingdom.
job option A
job option B
Summer: I gave myself an ultimatum to come to some sort of decision by the end of the Maranatha season, even though I hadn't received an official offer yet. Hannah and I worked it out at Taco Bell, the best place to make any life-altering decision. I left Maranatha peaceful; deciding to wait for the official offer, pray about my future, and consider the possibility of one day moving to Michigan. That was easy to go along with for the first month of being back in Cincinnati. I missed that perfect strip of beach more than anything in the world. Who dreams of an office desk anyway? But if anyone could change their mind every single day, I certainly would.
Fall: For six months, I wrestled daily with the question, Where do I belong, Lord? By mid-October it was almost agonizing to answer my friends' kind inquiries. I wished the decision would disappear. My greatest fear has always been letting other people down or causing them great pain. Surely my absence from either place would cause that for someone?
I got the email on a Thursday during the busiest, best, most confusing week of the fall, "We're officially extending an offer at Maranatha to you." Sheer panic enveloped me. I was thriving at work by throwing myself into a charity event Landor was building from the ground up. I worked 55 hours that week and hardly noticed I was tired to the bone. New and old friends found me everywhere and my extroverted heart was overflowing. But still my mind jumped back to the sweet faces of the kids I cared for like siblings. Hannah, Ellie, Jack, Zac...I missed them so much it hurt.
"I don't want to leave," I confided in Emily the next week. I was avoiding calling Maranatha back "But the hardest things in my life have always been the right choices." She knew what past decisions I was referring to.
That weekend I turned the offer down, cried a little, and put on a happy face. Nothing was any clearer after I hung up the phone.
Winter: By December I was sick and tired of my divided mind. I took two weeks off of work, packed five bags, and skipped off to Michigan. Visiting four of my favorite Maranatha families was the vacation I needed. Although it came with more confused feelings and giant fears. After a week of bliss, I arrived at home an emotional mess. "How do I leave them behind?" I sobbed to my dad.
The beginning of the year started unusually. "Landor would like to extend you an offer," They told me. "You just have to wait." That was the catalyst. If I was still jobless (as in a freelancer or self-employed) by May, I would go to Michigan forever. I allowed myself to dream a little of a new start. But wait, what was I running from? The offer letter showed up a month later. No more stalling.
Present: "What if the easiest thing to do is actually the hardest?" I peered over my meatballs at Emily. "I finally know that staying here in Cincinnati is the thing I want the most. But I'm grieving over the idea of closing the door on adventure." Remaining here, as the city girl, close to college friends, and working in a corporate, consumer office, felt like defeat. Surely forsaking my beloved life for the wilderness and solitude of a Michigan ministry was the nobel choice. After all, the kid in me longed to run away to my safe haven once again. But...could God possibly want my wild heart right where it was?
Do hard things. Or, stop living by mantras and lay down your life before the King of Kings.
How strange to realize in this moment that I knew
Today is my first day (after three years of interning faithfully) of big kid, real deal employment. Guess I'm gonna be a daughter of the