11 years ago today.
I walked down that little corridor between Gate B23 and a Boston-bound airplane, absolutely mindful that nothing would be the same. I was moving three time zones away based on a call of faith--stepping out on "nothing" and praying like crazy I was gonna land on something.
If you know me well, you know I was a California girl with absolutely zero plans to be anything but. I loved my hometown. Was born there. Assumed I'd die there. And figured that anything worth anything that would happen in my life would happen there! I had just graduated from college and was preparing to begin a credential program. But in the fall of 1999, it began to pop up. Everywhere. Like, ridiculously everywhere.
Go to Boston.
I had never been to Boston. I knew nobody in Boston. I knew nothing of Boston other than what I'd seen in movies. You know, "Pahk the cah by the shahks in the hahbah." That was really all I had to go on.
So I began researching Boston. Rent was way high. I began looking for jobs, but the school year had already begun--I knew I couldn't wait until the following school year to begin working! My car had a lot of miles on it, and would have 3,000 more if I drove it out there.
This wasn't making sense.
So I began to tell God every reason this wasn't going to work. I really made my three-point case that would surely let God know why this didn't make a whole lot of sense.
1. Where would I live? I can't afford anything out there!
2. What will I do for a job?
3. How will I get around? No wheels!
"Three strikes, you're out, God. This just won't work," is the conclusion I had reached. But He seemed to persist.
Go to Boston.
I wore myself out trying to figure out how it was going to work. I couldn't make it work! And it only served to totally stress me out. On top of that, I had to keep this whole Boston thing under wraps. People were gonna think I was out of my mind.
And He spoke again:
After praying a lot I felt led to do a sort of "fast." No phone. No TV. No internet. No pursuing. No striving. No trying to figure this one out on my own one minute longer.
Stillness. Quiet. Peace.
It was an amazing week. I prayed and spent a lot of time in the Word. I quieted my heart before God rather than yelling all the reasons this didn't make sense. I listened.
When the week was up, I turned on the computer. First, I found an email from a distant friend who wrote, "I have been praying for you like crazy this week. God is going to use you in ways you and I can't even imagine." My friend Skye had no idea what I was up to, what was going on. But she had felt compelled to pray for me that week--the very week I too was fasting and praying. Next, I pulled up a search engine and I typed in just one word:
I didn't know where else to begin. But on Page One of the results, I saw "Boston Nanny Agency," and clicked on it.
"Our nannies are well-compensated. You can choose live-in or live-out. Many families provide a separate car for their nanny."
A house? Check.
A car? Check.
A paycheck? Check.
It was as if I told the LORD about all the mountains in the way while He was getting ready to MOVE THEM.
All of this, combined with the counsel of several wise, Godly people who also prayerfully discerned that the LORD was leading me, led to the night when I hugged the ones I love the most and boarded a plane to Boston.
It didn't make a lot of sense at the time, but there was so much peace, so much confirmation. I was hired the week I moved out there, and got plugged into a great church. Four months after moving to Boston, I was at church when a young man walked up and began talking to the person next to me. I just looked at him. I couldn't not. But then I didn't think anything more about that. In July, now six months after arriving in Boston, I saw a very handsome young man on a church rafting trip. And, although very out of character for me, I walked right up to him and said, "Hi--I'm Thea!" And he told me his name was Justin, but that we had met before. That's when I realized he was the one I'd seen at church that day.
I married him the next July. And the life I live now--my husband, my babies, my faith--none of it would be what it is, had the LORD not called me to go where He led--and had I not gone. I do not glory in this--I was THE least likely girl on the planet to do what I did. I know my God made a way. I know my God moved mountains. I know He positioned the least likely girl for His purposes.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase" (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)--As I said before, I remember feeling like I was stepping out on nothing and praying it would be alright. We walk by faith, not by sight. And not only was it alright (and wonderful and scary and faith-stretching), it was "immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20)!
If the LORD has called you to follow but it doesn't make sense, keep praying. And feel free to list off every mountain you believe stands in the way. But remember to take a break from declaring every reason you think it won't work to watch and see how He makes a way.