I now live in the desert. It hasn't quite hit me yet, and probably won't until I settle into my new home, which won't be until August. I, once again, have made a major life change just as I did almost two years ago. I left all that is familiar to follow a call I did not completely understand but one I was sure of, and everything changed for me. Here I am in, in the same situation, but far less scared than I was back then. When I think back as to why, it all comes down to one simple thing: assurance.
The Lord always provided for me when I lived in St. Louis. I was going to school (an expensive one) full-time. I had 3 part-time jobs, a lot of amazing friendships, and a lot of craziness in my life. But every difficult moment brought deep joy and a great thirst for a deeper knowledge of my Lord. They say pleasure is opposed to pain, but joy is often born out of trial. What I went through these last two years was truly a trial. If I had to do it all over again I would and I would never want to trade the experience I had at that challenging institution for anything, because the Lord taught me things. People taught me things. I would never want to not have this experience.
Socrates said "the unexamined life is not worth living"... and I did a lot of examining in seminary. I now know this is an area I truly fell short in previously. The next phase of my life will be about continuing to deprogram myself so I continue the examining. Donald Miller said in his newest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, "maybe we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something." I now understand, more than ever, that living through something rightly is not just surviving, but experiencing as it happens, and looking back to ask what it all means. I am a character in God's story, and it's up to me to understand the plot he is writing with me. I may not ever fully understand what just happened to me in the last two years, but I am most certainly going to try.