A few nights ago, as I was preparing to do one of my favorite workouts – 30 Day Shred, Joel Osteen (author and pastor of a mega church in Houston) came on and spoke on the mistakes we make by magnifying our problems instead of magnifying God. I spent the next 30 minutes thinking about how I so clearly believed that God existed and that he cared for me only a few months ago.
Now I’m staring at my laptop with tears filling my eyes, and I’m not sure where to start. When something makes me scared or nervous, I tend to run to my blog and pour my heart out as quickly as possible – at least with most things. But there are times in which I say nothing….times in which I let fear and stress take over my thoughts which allows the challenges I’m facing to become much bigger in my mind. I do this even though I know that often times, after I state my fears, they don’t seem so big.
I woke up with a headache yesterday which isn’t common for me. And it’s certainly not common to wake up feeling bad two days in a row, but I had the same kind of headache today. And with that headache, I feel pain in my chest. I’m not panicking over it because I know from experience that my body is feeling physical pain as a result of the stress I’m under now which stems from the fact that I’ll be back in NYC a few days from now (exciting!) and the fact that I lack a solid plan beyond disembarking the plane (scary!)
When my mom called earlier today, I told her about the ache in my chest. We agreed that my stress level needs to come down, and she was quick to remind me that God has a plan for me so I need not worry so much. My response, which no doubt bothered Mom was “Yeah, well…I don’t really believe that God is looking out for me, and I’m just being honest about it since He knows anyway, right?” Well, I can tell you that those words probably hurt Mom more than I know, but she didn’t argue and decided to pray for me instead.
Fast forward an hour or so. My friend, Dan, sent me an instant message. I haven’t seen Dan in almost two years, and it’s been a while since we talked. And as we were chatting about his career and upcoming wedding, Dan began talking about how God has a plan for our lives. He talked about God’s timing. And he said that he’s learning that God has a plan for us, but it’s totally up to us whether we decide to follow it or not.
I’ve known Dan for about 7 years, and over the years we have talked extensively about politics, baseball, fitness, the State of Texas and how to recreate his magical Swedish pancakes. I’ve shown him my favorite parts of Oklahoma, and I even gave him a really crappy tour of NYC before I began losing weight. That’s a story worth sharing later, but I cannot remember talking about God with Dan – ever. It may have come up, but it has never really been a focal point of our conversations.
Looking back at our conversation, I’m starting to believe that Dan’s thoughts were a direct message from God to me. Dan didn’t know I was stressed. At that point, all he knew was that I’m heading north. He didn’t know that I’ve been hesitant to talk about it because it scares me. Nor did he know that I haven’t spoken much about it here because while I’m blessed with so many supporters, I know that there are 3 or 4 people who read this blog daily just waiting to see me fail.
So I’m laying it out today. I’m so excited to be heading back, but I’m also terrified. I’m going back to secure my new job and search for a tiny apartment (anything with walls and a roof really) that will allow me to rebuild in the only place that has ever really felt like home.
I still have a couple of friends there, but for the most part, I’m starting over at square one. I have to find an apartment that I can afford, buy new furniture, new shoes, winter coats (thankfully not for months)new dishes, bath towels and everything else that I’m not getting back. I’ve started to pick things up here and there, but it’s overwhelming to think of everything that needs to be done in the next few months if I’m making New York home again now.
So, to the few who hope I fail and/or believe I don’t deserve to move forward, say what you will. I censor comments for that reason. To everyone else, thank you for listening. Maybe it won’t it won’t be easy, but maybe it’s not impossible either. And maybe I don’t deserve everything that I hope for, but I’m willing to work for it now. Maybe God does have a plan that I need to be privy to so if you pray, pray for me today please. Pray that I’ll know God cares that I’m alive and that He has a plan for me and that He shows me.
Patience has never been my strong suit, and I’ve made mistakes in the past that make it necessary to start from scratch at 30. I have no idea what will happen when I land in the big apple. I’m not sure how I’ll feel or where I’ll sleep or what I’ll figure out for the future, but I’m facing these fears. And that’s all I have to say today.