When I was in college I had profound experience after profound experience. Things from strong ‘senses,’ prophetic conversations, an incredibly hard break-up, a job interview for a job I have no recollection of applying for (but the interviewer called with my application in hand), a diagnosis, a healing, mountain top summers and a continuous drawing into communion with the Holy Spirit; so big, so powerful, so unknown, at times terrifying but also amazingly attractive.
As I fly home from a week in my college stomping grounds there’s a sense of deep sadness and a feeling of loss. There’s a piece of my heart that longs to remain in Spokane, near old friends, my college campus and the landmarks that take me back to that time. Why is that urge so strong when I have so much I love at home waiting for me? An amazing husband and partner, children to love, encourage and train, dreams to pursue and a difference to make.
I’ve discussed with friends and there’s the “becoming” response. College is where we were becoming who we are. It was a big process, it creates stronger ties to this place. I get that, it resonates for sure, but, that’s not it. While very true, college was a time of expedited growth, as well as sometimes debilitating experiences of self awareness, I’ve been in a state of ‘becoming’ really since I was born I think, it’s not a finished process or I wouldn’t be here.
I think it’s something else.
After college and circumstances that brought us back to Colorado. I just HAD to work for the Navigators. After all, that was the ministry in great influence of my spiritual growth the past years through summer camp counseling, and I didn’t want to stop growing, so I must need the Navigators right?
I got the job. I worked hard. I felt like something was missing beyond a livable paycheck. Where was the growth? Where was the discipleship I expected? I felt disappointed. Expectations dashed and I quit.
I moved into the secular non-profit sector, got a real paycheck and a real missional sense of purpose toward my organization and our community through its work. I felt important. But I was quieting that urge for growth, spiritual, life-giving growth. I loved my job, really loved it, but I went back to school to head for the next dream…maybe then the unsettled search would calm and I’d confront my desire for deeper growth.
I loved school again. Embraced learning, applied things, grew in awareness and became a mom. What a couple of years those were. And still that longing, Holy Spirit come, ‘not there yet.’
Being on campus this weekend I felt like there was a whisper “you’re getting warmer,” it said. I thought, it’s time to move, surely Spokane is where we are supposed to be.
As I imagine going home and sharing this news I realize how crazy it sounds. What?! Move? Take my family across the country away from family and community and all sorts of ministry opportunities and work not yet started? Rediculous!
Reality is, my “getting warmer” is not about a place, a group of people, an organization or a school. I’m remembering the encounters. The constant knocking on my heart from the Holy Spirit and my eager response to engage, to work with and for God’s kingdom. My excitement and quick yes’ to each open door.
So even flying away from this grand ‘place’ in my life filled with stones (or pincones) of remembrance and important people of my journey, I am embracing this “getting warmer” whisper, and I am excited with goosebumps over what God is doing and stirring within me.
Here I am Lord, send me.