I should have been thrilled. My husband had just gently told me that he felt called to a new life and ministry, and that it also meant moving across the country to get his education. He had his sights set on Colorado, where I’d spent vacations and family reunions. I adored the beautiful mountain vistas, the trails laden with pine needles, the ice-cold streams, and the dusty rodeos.
But none of that mattered to me. We had bought a home in North Carolina, across the street from our favorite park and lake. We’d been there less than three years, but already made a group of close-knit friends who were in a similar stage in life and seeking after God. We were involved in our church, we knew the ins and outs of our town, and I had a hairstylist that I loved. (It’s so hard to find, ladies.)
We’d had a tough transition from the Midwest to the South, but now that we were settled, I was happy. And I never wanted to go through that kind of challenge again.
That’s why, despite the promise of a purple mountain majesty, I wasn’t thrilled. I was scared. And I’d already announced to my husband that I never wanted to move again.
I was done with big changes, and God knew it. I’d closed a door and hidden my heart behind it, where I could feel comfortable and safe. But God knew that “comfortable and safe” was really code for afraid. It’s just like God to knock on that door I’d firmly shut and challenge me, however gently, to open it.
He had more for me in Colorado, but I didn’t want to even entertain the idea. He wanted me to trust Him in the very area I’d decided to only trust myself. God is wise that way, and I am stubborn.
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
If I could have seen what God had for us in the seven years we were to live in Colorado, I would have been eager to get there. I would have tearfully said goodbye to our friends who had become family, and then cheerfully said hello to the Mile High city.
But God wanted me to go through the darkness in order to get to the light. He wanted to grow me so that I could follow His gentle leading instead of my own desires.
I spent the next few days and weeks in prayer. I came to accept that God might be leading us in a new direction. With my blessing, my husband applied and was accepted to the graduate school he’d chosen, and we decided to put our house on the market. One day later, it was sold.
In the end, I opened the door. I allowed God to guide me through my fears and learned to trust Him in all circumstances. In Colorado, we found a wonderful church, we made dear friends, we fell in love with the mountains, we went to lots of rodeos, and we had our first child. I don’t think I would have believed it all even if God had shown me.
I found I could trust Him and welcome new beginnings, even if it’s hard to say goodbye to the previous chapter of our lives. I learned that especially when I feel my hand reaching out to close a door, it’s time to be open to His will and guidance. God always has something good for me in the long run. Even if it means questionable haircuts for a while.
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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)