Have you ever wanted to just pick-up your stuff, pack up your life, and go somewhere new? Yes, you, the person who has long been encumbered by a lifelong obsession with mapping out every minute of every day? You, the “responsible one,” suddenly overcome by an undeniable desire to leave everything and everyone you know behind?
If you’ve never experienced anything like this before, I’ll describe it to you. It can start with a dream you can’t shake off in the morning, a passing thought, a something someone mentions during dinner out with friends. But it’s the inception of something that now can not be ignored. You start to feel antsy and a little breathless from the sheer excitement of the idea. You begin to see metaphorical dead ends in the life you’ve built for yourself and you have GOT TO GET AWAY!
I’ve always been the responsible one. I’ve kept steady jobs, I’ve never done anything drastic and certainly nothing on a whim (well, other than the occasional McDonald’s french fry run) and I’m the kind of person who loves surprises but deeply appreciates predictability. I’m one of those people who has a five-year plan.
Granted, my five-year plan has always (well, since the advent of my handsome husband) been riddled with many “what ifs” (I mean, it’s unavoidable when one is married to a male model slash rock singer slash aspiring actor) but I STILL had a five-year plan that included a house, a golden retriever (they are such noble creatures), and at least one kid by the time I am the age I am now. I saw that these things could come to pass in Nashville, the city we’ve lovingly called home for the last seven years.
But I did have one of those dreams I just couldn’t shake off one morning in November and after getting past the in-credulousness of the idea, my husband and I decided to take the dream seriously. We prayed. We discussed. We budgeted. We made a list of pros and cons. We prayed without ceasing.
At first, I thought that if God provided a job transfer with my current employer in southern California, that would serve as the writing on the wall. So for a couple of weeks, we waited for the transfer. And then we realized, why are we waiting? If California is the place we need to be, why are we waiting for a job transfer to make that happen? If God says “go”…we should GO right?
So we prayed about a move date. Lord, show us when to move. It’s comical how short prayers become when you’ve petitioned Him so many times before. When? When? WHEN? Then Josiah’s dad, who owns a concrete construction business in Arkansas said that he and the family could move us to California at the first of the year.
We made a miniature garage sale of our already second-and third-hand items, said good-by to even more of our well-loved stuff on the first leg of our journey, then said good-by to even more on our way to the golden state!
It’s enlightening how burdensome stuff you’ve had forever gets, when you can only take the stuff that’s most important. Because what’s MOST important is getting to the place God has for you…with or without stuff, a job, or an apartment!
So…we’ve made a big move. We’re here. And we are doing our best to seek what is most important. I realize it’s cheesy, but when I think about California, I think Hollywood which is fifteen minutes from where we currently live and I remember the opening and ending scene of Pretty Woman where a random man walking across the street hollers out, “Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’…”
I don’t know if we will realize our dreams here, but I do know that we are meant to be here, at this place, at this time. And I have that antsy feeling again, just thinking about what is in store for us in this golden state where dreams come to dazzle or die.