A lot can happen in a year, 365 days. I can’t say 2017 has been my favorite year, but I can tell you that I’m miles ahead (and away) from where I was this time last year. I was painfully homesick living in Denver, had a job that I have nothing to say about and was at the peak of my anxiety desperately trying to ignore a call that God put on my heart. As I rang in the new year I knew I something needed to give.
I gave up my control. I submitted to the call God gave me. I knew I needed to move home. I needed to move home to plant roots with my family again. I needed to move home to minister to those closest to me and to grow in my relationship with God. His call for me is to "cross the street" to minister to those around me. I didn't want to, but it was a call I couldn't shake for months.
When I got back to Denver after the holiday I was terrified of the decision I made. I was afraid to quit my job, not for financial reasons, but because that turned my hypothetical “moving home plan” into a moving home plan with an end date.
Before I could even think about quitting my job I had to tell my friends I was leaving. For almost all of them, it came out of the blue. I never talked about moving home or leaving Denver (in fact, I always said I don’t know where I’ll go after graduation but it won’t be back to Missouri). Though for a couple of my best friends, they picked up how I was acting the entire fall of 2016, so when I told them they weren’t surprised at all. Don’t get me wrong, we all cried together every time, but it didn’t make it any easier. With each person I told I felt better and more confident about my decision.
I put in my two weeks at work. I started looking for and applying to jobs in St. Louis. My heart became lighter and I started feeling like this was the right decision.
Then came what was and is probably the hardest part about leaving Colorado. Letting my church family know that I was moving. Some of you just laughed. It’s ok. I would too if I wasn’t a part of this church community. Red Rocks Church was my home. I was in their church buildings more than I was home and when I was in my home I had my church family there, always. I went in to tell the Young Adults staff that I was leaving; it was the only time I felt like maybe I was making the wrong decision. My relationship with God was born in this church and it grew beyond my wildest dreams because of these people and this church. How could I possibly leave such a place?
My heart broke. It still is broken and feels like it’s missing a part of a life I used to have. BUT that one sacrifice (that felt a little like the end of the world at the time) was a step into obedience to God; I knew this for a fact because of the amazing people and church I was surrounded with.
If you’re a Christ follower I’m sure you know what comes next. Reward. We don’t obey God for the purpose of a reward but he does reward obedience. 2017 was starting off with a big change and I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out.
The Monday after my last day of work I started packing up my house to move home on the following Saturday. That same day I got a call from my now current employer requesting a video interview. I had to explain my situation because the company is based in Colorado and I was moving back to Missouri. I was expecting to never hear back from them again. That Friday I had my first of many interviews in between packing up my house and buying Chinese food for my moving/going away party. Needless to say they were gracious and turns out (spoiler alert) this is my dream job. I didn’t know it at the time, but God was setting me up for something amazing.
Before I knew it, my friends and my dad packed up my moving truck. I swear it was in record time; it took less than a hour (if you’re ever moving, I know the crew to make it happen). What followed was the most amazing night I had in all of 2017. I say that with confidence knowing my plans for tonight aren’t all that exciting. All my friends came to my party. We played Heads Up and laughed so hard we cried. My dad even walked to Home Depot for a last minute moving essential and as he was walking back he could hear the laughter billowing out of my house from hundreds of feet down the road. It was the perfect representation of my time in Denver and the people I met.
I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post on this, but this morning I woke up thinking about how much has changed this year and I just had to write it down. I have some big goals for 2018. Goals that can only be accomplished with God in the plan. I’ve never been one to have such wild dreams because I like maintaining control. But my resolution last year was to let go of control. Once I relinquished that control my life changed. So, this year’s resolution is to be so expectant that God sized things will happen again this year.
In 2018 I’m going to put my time and my heart into making a community of young adults that all have one thing in common. Jesus. In the last part of 2017 I started the Facebook and Instagram pages @youngadultsstl and I thought I should be an anonymous owner of these pages, but since my blog grew this year I want to be more open about my faith and this dream. I have been blessed with this platform, so I’m going to use it. I hope you follow along, engage and be a part of this community.
My first goal for Young Adults STL is to find a place to have weekly or biweekly gatherings. If you know of a place that would be good to host young adults, if you can play music or sing, if you have a platform (or go to a university) where you can “advertise” the worship gatherings please email me. This is a God sized thing and I will need all the help I can get to bring it to life.
(*Disclaimer* all these photos are from 2016 but they're my dream for 2018 - love, laughter and a community full of Jesus lovers. They're also some of my favorite people of all time and have the best memories with them. Cheers to 2018).