This past December, when I accepted the offer to work as a Southern Living Editorial Fellow without a moment of hesitation, I don’t think I realized what it meant to live so far from home. I was ready to start anew and accepting my “dream job” brought me nothing but joy and anticipation for the adventure to come. Then, just a week following graduation, it hit me like a sack of bricks. I was moving to Birmingham, Alabama–a city that’s nearly 700 miles from where I grew up and three states away from where my dearest friends and family lived. What was I thinking?!
As I sit here nearly ten months later, I can’t help but lay myself at the Lord’s feet in a gesture of absolute gratitude for how much I’ve grown from this journey. Don’t get me wrong–He has thrown me my fair amount of curve balls since arriving; yet somewhere along the way, I met an incredible group of friends, grew my professional portfolio, found a church I love, successfully lived alone and even navigated a city I didn’t previously know.
Through it all, I’ve learned so much about myself and the plan God has laid out before me. I’ve witnessed His faithfulness through (countless) episodes of doubt, worry and anxiety. It’s no easy task to start over, miles away from the ones you love most, but if I can pinpoint one lesson from this experience, it’s that He will NEVER leave me. I don’t have to be sitting in my favorite pew at Grace Bible Church in College Station to feel His presence. I don’t have to have my quiet time with an iced coffee from Mugwalls to know He’s guiding me right where I need to be. I don’t even have to live surrounded by my best girlfriends and accountability partners to realize that my every step is part of His perfect and flawless plan.
Only time will reveal where He might lead me next–for all I know, it could be halfway across the world. I can’t sit here and say that my sinful habits won’t lead me to fear, or even distrust Him a little when the time comes, but thanks to the leap of faith that led me here, I know this: He will remain.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”