& if not.

Last night in our small group, we lingered for a while on the subject of hearing and following God’s call. I listened and did not share. I did not share not just because I am the new one to this group or because I am definitely the most theologically and socially liberal in the group, but because I am in such a period of discernment these days I’m not even sure how to use words to describe it. I was texting with the best mom ever yesterday and  I said, “I just want to lay roots.” And she said, “you were laying roots when it was sadly taken away.” This is a true point. When the world collapses around you and when you lose your earthly anchor, where do you turn? What comes next? I cannot go back to the trajectory that I was on because the partner on that journey is no longer here. I can move forward vocationally, physically, and spiritually, but so much of what I thought was the “plan” just doesn’t exist on earth.

Fact of the matter is, I have moved forward. I have tried so very hard to hear the “what’s next” from God. I am comfortable in being alone-eating alone in public, going to the movies and concerts, traveling…but this comfort does not prevent loneliness. That longing to be emotionally connected to others. I am so blessed to have a wide network of friends and family with whom I have these connections. And, they 100% live at least a one day’s drive away. While facetime and google make visual connections possible, it simply isn’t the same. How do you rebuild close connections in a place that seems content to keep things as they are and doesn’t seem to have room for an outsider?

How also, do you really move forward with trust that God’s timing and God’s call is the best? I don’t think it is wrong to feel sad or mad or frustrated by the state of things. Some might say that isn’t being true to God but I think it is honoring the range of emotions that we have been given as humans. The key is to move forward even in the midst of the sadness or anger. To not allow discernment to cause stagnation. And as I have said a million times, if God could just shout instead of using the still small voice, that would be awesome.

So what comes next? I do not know, but I know that many have walked into that unknown before me with confidence. Daniel and the boys did not know if they would be delivered from the fiery furnace but instead chose to stand firm against idols (Daniel 3.) Ruth did not know what to expect when losing her husband and staying with her mother-in-law, Naomi, but she pressed on (Ruth 1.) So press on it is…a step in faith that it “all” will make sense at some point. I will know where and how to lay roots because I am rooted in the One who makes all things new, heals the broken hearted, and sets the captives free.

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