4 Years in Colorado: Moving for God to Move
The end of this month marks 4 years since I moved to Colorado. That's 4 years since I got engaged, graduated college, moved across the country in pursuit of the dream I knew God was calling me to. Every year, I write about this transition (read last year's post here), and every year, I re-read what I wrote, marveling at the similarities and the differences.
The end of year 4 has left me with an intense desire that I should be graduating from something. After all, 4 years is the measure I've used for the passage of time for over a decade. 4 years of high school, 4 years of college, 4 years until the season radically changes, right?
Last year, I was still struggling to call Colorado home, to fully embrace the fact that my life is rooted here. I don't struggle with that anymore, not because everything is perfect or settled, but because I've realized that I hold a level of love and gratitude for this place that is unmatched. This is one part of my story that I doubt I'll ever fully be able to put into words. My love for Colorado is the kind of love that endures all the storms. It wasn't based on immediate attraction and took a long time to become something real. And everyday, when I drive past the same mountain peaks, I think about the girl I was 4 years ago, and how much I want to tell her what I know now.
I just finished Shauna Niequist's book Bittersweet, and she wrote, "When I lie awake at night and think about our life, these past few years have been without question the hardest of my life, and we're not through them yet. There have been a thousand tears, a thousand questions that still aren't answered. I don't know where our future is leading us, and I'm exhausted from trying to figure it out." Though I'm sure I looked like a fool tearing up in our airplane back from Mexico, she fit everything I have felt into a few quick sentences.
My life here has been messy and uncomfortable and flecked with mountain top highs and some of my deepest sorrows. Exhausted is like the next door neighbor in my life that's too nosy, too present. He's the friend I never wanted to be introduced to. But I also have met the depths of joy and provision that I never realized I was lacking.
I used to believe that Nashville made me into the person I wanted to be, but I see that I was wrong in that. Nashville helped me grow up, hone my passions, and bridge the gap between teenager and adult. But Colorado, this place I came to chase my dreams, is the place I have learned what it really means to lay them down.
You know the feeling of wonder you get when you hear an incredible testimony of brokenness to beauty? It's that all encompassing admiration in God's power, accompanied with the secret relief that you didn't have to live through their circumstances to come out stronger on the other side. But we all want to be stronger, we just don't want to go through the fire to get there.
This has been my season of going through the fire, and the hardest part about reaching the 4 year mark is the knowledge that the hard things in life will not click into something new on May 27. The passage of time might not be anything more than a date on the calendar, when I long for it to be a shift in the script.
When I read this post in a year, I want to remember that there have been so many little nudges and growth spurts that have turned into something big. The person I was 4 years ago was filled with immeasurable hope. 3 years ago, I felt that the wind had been knocked out of my sails, and 2 years ago, I was just starting to acknowledge that I had been too busy running away from my calling to see what was right in front of me. The past year has been one of stretching, surrendering, and pruning, and I know it's to make way for what's to come.
It's hard to write the same struggle over and over, when you're not sure how to resolve pieces of the story, on paper or in person. But the older I get, the more that I realize that that's the point. Leaning in, learning to love and to thrive amidst the good stuff and the bad, trusting in something bigger, and realizing that God called me to move so that He could start moving in my life.
Happy 4 years to my mountain state.