It’s no secret that I have not been happy in Alabama. Lindsay and I came here “for a good opportunity” and found that although the “opportunity” we came for was exactly as promised, we have not been fulfilled in our time here. I have trusted God in all of this. I knew he wanted us to go to Alabama. I was happy to write in my journal day-after-day that “I will trust in You,” “I will find all I need in You” and “You give me more than enough, You are all I need.”
The truth is, I needed to be honest with God. I don’t know why He has me here. As soon as I finished school, I began looking, begging, pleading for the next door to go through, maybe even trying to create a door that wasn’t there. God has been so good to me in that He always opens a door for me to walk through and along the way provides more than I could ever ask. On top of that, I have been in His favor; nothing I have ever done has been hard. He shows me where to go and blesses me the whole time. But as my discontent with Alabama grew, my patience ran out. I began looking, scavenging, for the next door. All the while I feigned joy and said all the right things.
Finally, I had it. I opened myself to God and told Him exactly what I was feeling. I let my frustration out and said, “I don’t know why I am here. I don’t want to be here.”
The next day, today, I was drawn to two passages: Isaiah 51:3 and 1 Kings 19:14-21.
1 Kings 19:14-21 is Elijah calling Elisha to follow him. Elijah goes to Elisha as God asked him. Immediately, without hesitation, Elisha trusts God enough to drop all he was doing and follow the path laid before him. While I am not sure God is calling me to go anywhere, I do think He is reminding me to have faith in His plans. Most of the time, His plans don’t make much sense to me and He may ask me to do something that doesn’t make any logical sense in my mind. The calling is to obey, to trust, have faith. I think the hardest part of this for me is my own hubris telling me I need to do something else for vanities sake of for the sake of praising my own name.
Isaiah 51:3 talks about making a “wilderness like Eden” and the “desert like the garden of the Lord.” This led me to a song by Jason Upton called “Garden Song” where it goes something like “I want to build you a garden, in a dry and desert land, I’m gonna find a river there.” I think God was telling me that sometimes where I am, although it feels like a desert, I should look for the river and find his garden.
I am here in Tuscaloosa because I am supposed to be. I feel like this place is a desert and because I feel that, it is what I am expecting to see, therefore what I see. If I trust God and start expecting to see a river, His garden, I will find that. He has promised a river, I have to let Him show me where.
My prayer is that even if I am not here long, that my attitude would change and I would see the beauty in this place. If I don’t allow myself to expect beauty, a river, a garden, I will never find it.
Beauty here is different from the mountains of NC, but it can still be beautiful.