2014 was an unexpected year. It looked nothing like I thought it would. The first eleven months were overall kind of confusing. There were clear, divine moments to be sure, but in general, confusing.
I started the year with Global Initiative and expected to end my year in the same place. In January God introduced a change: The Human Right. In March Live Dead Arab World joined my journey. In July the changeover happened, and I spent the next five months waiting to discover what work both of my new jobs actually involved. I spent those next five months watching both jobs slowly take shape. I spent the next five months asking God, “Seriously. What’s the deal here? Why the confusion? Where’s the clarity in job descriptions so that I can actually get to work and be productive for the mission?” [Crickets.]
Then during the last week of November my friend Alyssa sent me a text message as she passed through Nashville: “I think I know why you loved Nashville so much…but it seems like you outgrew it. ;) Am I right?” One text message brought me to a place where I could spend the last month of the year feeling…less confused and more confident in His plan, even if I still don’t get it.
Outgrowing Nashville, I never thought of it that way. I left Nashville because God took me from music to missions, and the first step was Springfield and Global Initiative. I left because I knew it was the right time and I had somewhere else to be. Not once had I thought about my outgrowing Nashville. Yet that word from Alyssa did something inside me.
I thought, yeah, it’s kind of true. I did what I did in the music business. I worked with the best and learned from the best. I lived deep and sucked the marrow from my Nashville life, but I honestly cannot imagine being there anymore. I don’t know what else I would have done. I feel like I maybe I outgrew my opportunities, like I outgrew my music journalism work. So God uprooted and replanted me and my experience. I look back over the past 2.5 years in Springfield and find it’s interesting that I have yet to do one thing in Springfield (writing, editing, content strategy, website stuff, etc.) that I did not learn in Nashville. This next chapter in life was not simply about me going to a new place; it was about me finishing a task in the first place. God took me as far as I could go in Nashville and then moved me.
For all my annoyance about moving to Springfield, I realize I outgrew Nashville and God needed me in Springfield. My first assignment with Global Initiative looks a little bit like a God-ploy to not only get me into missions, but also to Springfield. God knows, as do most around me, that I never would have moved of my own free will. And it’s not likely I would have pursued a missions assignment without Global Initiative’s very divinely timed and perfectly suited offer. God completed the Nashville puzzle and started the Springfield puzzle in His perfect time. He completed the music journalism puzzle and started the mobilizing puzzle in His right moment.
I have never wished to return to Nashville to live because I knew God took me to Springfield. And even over the course of a confusing 2014, I have not wished to return to Global Initiative because I felt the compulsion of the Holy Spirit moving me away. With time comes clarity, and it seems I outgrew both Nashville and Global Initiative. I gave them what I could, and I learned from them what I needed, but then it was time to go. This year God uprooted and replanted me and my experience again. Now it is time to share and learn with The Human Right and Live Dead.
When I read Alyssa’s text message, a voice inside said, “Yes.” And thank you, Spirit of God, for fleshing this out in me. This journey of mine is not about the places I work, because obviously those keep changing. It’s about what I do. It’s about my passions and skills and knowledge obtained over the years. It’s about my God-given gifts and talents. It’s about applying those where they are needed, until they are no longer needed. It’s about outgrowing places so I can move to the next place. That’s where I am today. That’s what God is doing with me. He’s not haphazardly tossing me to various entities so they have a handy writer and editor on the team. He appoints places for me to do what He gifted me to do until I do all that I can in that place.
PART TWO: The Work
In my head, leaving Nashville meant leaving editing. How small was my thinking?!
PART THREE: The People
When once I was the learner, now I am the teacher.