SHAKEN (AND) STIRRED
Exactly ten days short of a decade in Seattle, I have found myself calling Colorado home again. My renewed driver's license even says so (though my new photo is more impossibly baby-faced than I was even 5 years ago), as of yesterday. I am almost two months in, but I've come back to this draft to finish what I started and am feeling all over again the disbelief I felt the day I hit the road, Prius packed to its four corners and Mom at the wheel of a Penske truck in my rear-view mirror. I have felt more settled every day and still cannot believe it. I did not have reason to go other than God's stirring - which began 2 years ago and became undeniable last last year. And child, when He stirs your heart to go, you better go, for He is trustworthy beyond human compression, ceaseless in His provision, and loving more than words can begin to describe.
I had spent the last few years, and especially the last 6 months, in a quiet state of restlessness — at home and at work, in my perception of the present and of the future — and was feeling especially unsatisfied with things that, normally, are easy and comfortable. As a culture (and a generation; shout out to my fellow Millennials, Lord help us), we suffer from an addiction to comfortability and immediacy. We have apps to help us in our relational pursuit some call "dating" and others call "hooking up", some to do our grocery shopping and delivering for us, and others to pick us up for a ride from any corner in urban America. We are so comfortable. Everything is at our fingertips. Let me acknowledge that I am not, in any way, trying to toss the first stone (for I have had accounts at one point with all of these: Bumble, Uber Eats, and Lyft. Only the latter two I have maintained). We are terrified of difficulty and of challenge. We are terrified of being alone. We are terrified of being shaken up a little bit. And that was frustrating to me, because I found myself in that instant gratification-induced daze of complacency, laziness, and stagnancy.
That's where my stirring started; God was calling out these things in me that needed a second look (and then, of course, an action to follow). More than a handful of times in my life, I have been called a dreamer (in both a loving, prophetic sense, and in a belittling, pitying way, only the former of which I have chosen to receive), and I have a tendency to believe that what's next will always be best, will always be abundant, will always be gracious and forgiving and merciful and beautiful. According to the Enneagram, my personality is a Type 4, known as the "Romantic" or the "Individualist". My dreamer's state of mind finds foreign places romantic because of their novelty, and my mystery to others as a foreigner. As an individualist, it is both wonderful and terrible that I find fulfillment in doing the thing that is different just for the sake of being different, even if completely illogical. My individualist finds the glory in going at it alone. My complacency, laziness, and stagnancy were not aligning with my dreamer's state of mind (and, really, don't we all have an incredible yearning to dream when we know the grandness of God?).
I felt him calling me to more than a physical place, but an emotional place. There's no sifting - no getting to the root, the stone, the heart of the matter - without a little shaking. And God doesn't shake us for the sake of it, because He's bored and has nothing better to do, nor does He shake us to cause us to stumble. He sifts us to remove the unnecessary and reveal the gold: more of Him. What moving has done is completely sift through the dust - all those things that muddle our lives and encourage us to settle, rather than dream, like smugness and idleness - in order to reveal to myself, first and foremost, the desires of my heart. It has required that I am satisfied with the companionship of God and nobody else, because I have spent a lot of time alone. It is driving me to a place of dependency that is so good and so distant from complacency.
I don't want you, dear reader, to think it's all been rainbows and unicorns. Yes - a lot of it has been, actually (praise the Lord!), but I've had to rebuke feelings of loneliness, darkness, a sense of being overlooked, insignificant, and like I'm an invader in a place that was doing just fine without me. My feeling of being shaken has been terrifying, of course; as much as I am a dreamer, I'm a creature of comfort, I crave stability and consistency - but I'm so, so thankful that God was vigorous in His sifting of my heart. I've been peculiarly comforted by the fact that I will never find home here on earth in a physical location, despite what my new driver's license lists as a permanent address; I will always long for an eternal dwelling place. My dreamer's state of mind isn't foolish; it trusts that God takes us from glory to glory and from strength to strength because He does.
James Stevens said, "Curiosity conquers fear even sooner than bravery can." More than sporting the armor of bravery, I am sporting the armor of curiosity. I can't help but wonder what God is doing in this city foreign to me, and what my role might look like. I wonder what friends He has in mind for me, and how I might be a friend to those people. I'm curious to know more about who God is, and how He is faithful and how He wants to use me in this place in which I still feel like a stranger. I can't wait to see how I'll get to testify to His grace 10 years down the line, especially since the last 10 have been nothing but testimony after another of His pursuit of me. So, rather than finding "home", let us find in Colorado (or wherever God has me next, or you!) a taste of what's to come - heaven - as well as an adventure, terrifying and glorious and illogical and nothing short of wild.