The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

moving across the country…to discover what God has in store

Dreading the Change

Before the week is out, I will no longer be a Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser.  The time has come for me to pack up my bedroom and head south…

to sweet tea

to boys who hold doors open

to higher education

to God’s will for my life

I have to focus on the good things that are waiting for me in Tennessee.  If I consider the less savory things like the humidity, heavy foods, and disrespect for cyclists, my heart will only hurt more.  You see, for the first time in my life, I want to stay.  I’ve always been a go-er.  I never got stickers for resting well during nap time in kindergarten…I wiggled too much.  And I’ve always envied people who have moved around a lot during their lives.  Well here I am, moving after spending only one year a place…and my heart is breaking.

This is a testament to God’s work in my life.  He has revealed to me an ability to love and connect with people that I didn’t know hid in my heart.  Over the past few weeks, my emotions have run the gamut.

Excited!  Excited!  Excited!

Nervous…need a place to live…uhoh…

ANGER—What the hell, God?  This is the worst idea ever.

Me…angry?  Nu uh…oh wait.  What the hell, God?!?  I’m happy here!

Hmmmm….peace…peace…ohmmmm

*tears* nooooooo!

Yeah, that about sums it up.  During a time sitting down by the river, I realized that I was really angry at God.  For the first time in my life I feel like I am in a really good place, and He wants me to leave all of that behind.  It didn’t make sense to me.  And it still doesn’t make sense to me, but I have come to a place where I accept that God has a bigger plan.  He calls us to be faithful during these times of trial and uncertainty…that’s how He is able to prove His greatness to us.

photo-6

Does that mean that I am packing up and heading out tear-free, heart fully mended?  No.  I have come to love my house church family, my neighborhood coffee shop, the little boy that I tutor, my climbing gym, easy access to bike trails…this city has so much going for it.  But I am comforted by the knowledge that God has something going on for me about 850 miles away.  I have no idea what it is…and it’s a little exciting to think about it.

*brightening* Nashville has a good music scene…right?

Making new friends means finding new coffee shops

I get to see how God is working in other places!

(Also…the name of the blog will have to change…time to start thinking)

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Post-Thanksgiving Slump

Thanksgiving was a much-needed opportunity to be with my parents.  And when I say “be with” I mean more than just spending time with them.  I can’t really convey how much that phrase carries.  There aren’t any tangible details into which I could delve, so I won’t bother.  But, the warmth that I received when I was with them made leaving that much harder.  I came home Saturday night and cried myself to sleep.  All day Sunday, I felt fragile.  This has never been me.  I’ve been the type of person who turns around and forgets about friends, family, connections.  My fragility scared me…it still does.  I question whether or not I am who I thought I was.  I wonder if some switch has suddenly flipped and I am now weak.

Monday morning seemed impossible.  The motivation that I normally have was completely absent.  I wanted to curl back up in bed and sleep until Christmas break.  Somehow I managed to get ready for school, though, and I had some time to spare.  So I turned to the warmth of my heavenly Father and this is what he had to say:

Be joyful always;

pray continually;

give thanks in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

He will supply.  No matter how “fragile” I feel, His strength will protect me from the knocks and bumps that the world throws my way.  Or, that arise from my inner angst and fears.  And when the path seems foggy, my prayers and joy and thanks should continue.  There is no better way to exist.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

Where I wanted to be

Where I find myself these days

Dear God,

Sometimes you confuse me.  You overwhelm me.  You destroy my dreams and force me into situations beyond my realm of understanding.  You make me interact with people!  You force me closer to them and you make me sacrifice my passions.  You challenge me.

Thank you for finding me worthy of a challenge.  Thank you for closing doors, windows, and portholes.  And locking them.  Thank you for easing old passions and growing new ones.  Thank you for bringing me to new people and softening my heart to let them into my life.

 

Where I found myself on Thanksgiving

 

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No Turning Back

I just moved halfway across the country to a state I have never visited.  I am living with people I have never met.  I got a job that pays less than $900 a month (technically, it’s a “year of service” with a living stipend…AmeriCorps).  And I am more excited about the possibilities ahead of me than I have been in a very long time!

I no longer feel the need to write about “Chasing Rainbows.”  Right now, I am content to rest under a warm, blue sky and bask in the glory that is radiating down from God.  Not glory on me…but glory on all that He has done.  Moving to the Twin Cities was never part of my plan…it wasn’t even on my radar!  Working for AmeriCorps was also never on my radar.  I am a walking testament to the truth that “God’s ways are higher.”  There is reinforcement from every side that I am in the right place.  Doubts flooded my mind these past couple of weeks as I prepared for the move; but God has continually reassured me that this was His plan all along.  In thinking on this, I came across a verse:

The heart of  man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. (Proverbs 4:11)

I tried so many plans on my own…but they were all my plans, on my own.  It wasn’t about me.  It has never been about me!  This is all about His will and His timing.  So as I dive into this new adventure, I will be holding tight to that truth.  He has designed a path for me…better than any I could imagine.

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Praying for Daylight

“Pray for daylight”

–the pastor at the church I randomly chose to attend this morning

I grew up in a fairly small town that has enough churches to “fuel” a much larger town.  But, I spent my whole childhood and adolescence attending one particular church.  While being home for the summer (in limbo between past and future), I’ve toyed with the idea of visiting a different church.  I know that the “home church” can’t support me in the proper way right now.  It is not an inherently bad church…it’s just not what I’m looking for.  I’m looking for something more authentic and raw.  So, after being out of town for two Sundays and missing Christian fellowship, I decided, on a whim, to visit this random church.  I arrived approximately fifteen minutes late, but that meant that I didn’t have to talk to many people.  And, it also meant that I arrived just in time to sit down for the sermon…which was about storms.

Go figure.

God would just twist my life around so that when I finally get around to visiting this church, it stabs right through to my soul.  The pastor spoke from Acts 27:10-29, talking about Paul’s encounter with a storm while out in the middle of the ocean.  I have encountered some pretty legit actual storms in my life (I live in Tornado Alley–yay!)…so I’m imaging that out in the middle of the ocean.  Wowzers!  And to think that I run and hide in the bathroom the minute the television starts beeping at me.  Chicken.

Anyways, that’s the physical…let’s think about the spiritual.  There is a storm raging on in my life and all I’ve been able to do is pray for God to open a door and open my eyes widely (maybe add a bell to the door, just to make sure I don’t miss anything).  In the midst of waiting for that door though, I’ve just been begging God to “be.”  I didn’t know the words to express what I needed.  I just needed to know that He was still there.  I’ve been lost in the darkness of this storm for so long…I just want to see a speck of daylight.  Hearing that sentiment from the pulpit this morning gave substance to my months-long prayer.

God, reveal yourself in the daylight.  I beg you not to leave me blindly fumbling around for a door nob.  You know what is best for me, you and you alone.  Allow me to remain in your ultimate plan and purpose for my life.  In your plan and purpose, I find hope.

*the photograph is not really the revelation of daylight…instead it is the passing.  did you really think that I would get up at sunrise???

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Being Still

I went on an excursion yesterday.  There’s a local “mountain” that I enjoy climbing.  There is a steep path that leads to the base of a pile of rocks.  Multiple crevices between the rocks make summiting an easy task.  It is a climb that I have done several times, each time enjoying it just as much as the last.  Sometimes I have someone to go with me, but more recently I’ve been hitting the trail solo…which I love.

A place to focus

When I am sitting on top of that little mountain all alone, the world tends to fade away.  It becomes easy to focus on things.  Yesterday, I focused on my life.  I talked to God about the overwhelming pressure that I am feeling from every side.  My parents are pressuring me to get a job, completely natural.  The problem is that they are pressuring me to get ANY job.  I don’t want any job…I want a job that will allow me to tap into my passion…go beyond myself…do something worthwhile!  It’s not just my parents, though.  My friends are starting to drop hints that maybe I should focus on the “now”…what can I do right now to better myself?  One friend said that I should just look at it as “just detouring” and another, after mentioning an opening in accounting (blah!) at her husband’s company, said she was “just letting [me] know there are options.”

With all of this, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  I want to do what is right by God…not my parents, not my friends, not even me.  God’s plan is the only one that concerns me right now…and that’s what I could focus on while I was sitting on top of the mountain.

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Time for a Change

When I started this blog almost two years ago, I was trying to find something more.  I knew that I had fallen into the normalcy of being a Christian and I knew that the normalcy was hurting the relationship I was trying to build with God.  In my first post, I said:

“I do not plan on discovering the purpose of life in general.  But, I would like to figure out what exactly God wants of me while I’m here, living.”

As the blog continued, I took readers on a journey through my past.  I talked about the faults in my early years as a Christian and problems that I have with the world today, in my own personal life and in the greater scheme of things.  Most recently, I wrote about the problem I am currently facing, ya know, figuring out my life.  As I have faced this inner (and sometimes outer) turmoil regarding my future, I have taken note of songs that I hear at church.  Almost every week for the past several months, I have taken the time to jot down a few lines from a song that spoke to my heart.

This week, we sang the song “Oh, Love that Will Not Let Me Go” by the Robbie Seay Band.  There is a line that talks about tracing the rainbow through the rain.  But, I didn’t hear “trace”.  I heard “chase”.  Since then, that line has stuck in my mind.  Right now, that’s what I am trying to do.

GOD has something in mind or my life.  Right now though, He isn’t showing himself to me.  I have searched through every crack and crevice that I have found, but He is still silent.  I think that, at this point, maybe I’m not listening well enough or asking the right questions.  That is why I am going to chase a rainbow.

You see, to chase a rainbow, you must focus your eyes, not on the end goal, but on the journey.  If you lose sight of the rainbow or you get distracted by the rain, then you are not going to make it to the end.  And so, I am on a journey to chase the rainbow.  This is no longer about being lukewarm…it is about wholeheartedly committing to a journey…the journey that GOD wants me to take.

Feel free to share about your journey, where it’s taking you or prayers that you need.  You are also welcome to pray for me on my journey!

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