The Story of How I Decided to Leave Everything I Knew and Move in Pursuit of God (Part 1)

I'm currently in the midst of relocating from Georgia to Ohio, so I thought it was a fitting time to look back at another time in my life where God moved me across the country: I was 24 and single, and moved from my hometown in Ohio to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I knew one person in the entire state. It was undoubtedly a leap of faith for me and one that has guided me (and grown my faith) ever since. Here's a look back at how that all came to be:

In March of 2008, I was at work, doing a job I enjoyed where I worked as an editor for a graphic design magazine. I was taking a break from the daily grind and flipping through some articles online–not about design but about faith and the like.

A light bulb went off in my head that if my job had to do with God, I’d be so great about it because that’s where my passion for learning lies. I enjoy design and appreciate design but I don’t seek it out in the way I do information about God.

Now nothing with this light bulb moment would have really gone anywhere had it not been for the fact that I’d recently become friends with a girl at church who was another volunteer with the youth group girls. She confided that she was trying to figure out where she was headed in life and told me about the two places she was considering: Philadelphia and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

After that conversation, I got inspired and went home and started looking up where some Christian publishing companies were. Lo and behold, there were a handful of publishing houses in that little northern town of Grand Rapids. In fact, it’s deemed the Christian publishing capital of the country.

So the more she and I talked about it, the more right it felt to pursue Grand Rapids and this dream of Christian publishing. We set up a weekend to go visit, but one thing led to another and it kept getting derailed. We weren’t able to visit until a couple of months later, in the middle of June.

Trying to maximize this dream of mine, I put feelers out at a couple of the Christian publishers I’d discovered to see if I could meet with any when I was in town. The original publishing house that I thought I wanted to pursue never called me back.

However, there was this smaller one that I contacted and even when the operator patched me through to someone completely unrelated–everyone was so kind and so helpful to me. To me, that was God opening a door, and I took it by faith.

It was a couple weeks before we headed up to Grand Rapids and I still hadn’t secured any job interviews. But I still believed this is what God wanted. I got together with the youth pastor at our church, who had become a good friend, to get his guidance on the situation.

We talked through the reasons why I wanted to move. He had me create a pros-and-cons list of why I wanted to move to Grand Rapids. (He used a neat illustration to explain his understanding of determining what God's will is for our lives. Read more about that here.)

He asked me what I would do if I didn’t get a job up there, would I just move ahead? I told him that I wouldn’t move until I had a job because I felt like that was the whole purpose God was pointing me up there for in the first place, so I trusted that he would provide that.

Somehow God gave me such peace and clarity through the whole process–I’m still baffled.

After our meeting he told me that he wished he could tell me that I was doing it for the wrong reasons but he couldn’t.

I'll be back in a couple of days to continue with Part 2 and sharing my story about how this all unfolded and what God was doing behind-the-scenes.

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Decision-Making: Out of Fear or Faith?
Learning to embrace where God was calling me ...

1 comment:

  1. This hits home right now as we are looking for jobs in S. Korea as we feel that is where God is leading us. We've put in our notices at work and with the landlord and now we're waiting to hear from the jobs we've applied for. When God gives a vision he offers the provisions as well!


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