A Year’s Experience

Wow. A year ago today I moved to Fayetteville. This image was taken on my way there (well, here). It was quite the day. It was a Sunday. A day I would visit with my church leaders, my best friends, my family, and see my little sister get baptized. I moved up here with no clue what God was going to do. No idea who He would put in my path. No idea how to get around town. No idea how I would like my classes or my major. No idea if I would even make it. I cried and prayed the whole 6 hours up here. I knew He wanted to do big things through me. The word He has in my heart was “leadership.” I am nothing without Him. I wouldn’t be in Fayetteville if He didn’t lead me here. It was me + Him. I had no other option. Some of you know what that’s like.

 

A year later I have the best community, just like I prayed for. I have wonderful leaders, just like I prayed for. I have a peace in my heart just like I prayed for. God has MOVED, just like I prayed for. I go to the best school. I live in the best city. I fell in love after I moved, and continue to every day. I have encountered seasons I never knew I would. I have encountered Jesus like I never knew I would. I seriously cannot explain all that has happened in the past year except that it was extreme progression in such a beautiful way. The Lord is SO GOOD. I will never stop sharing His goodness. GLORY TO GLORY!

 

I have truly learned trust, confidence, self-discipline, boundaries, and FAITH. I learned that the Lord promises me (and you) that He will be with me wherever I go. I learned that it is OK to cut off some toxic things in your life, even if it means you are “alone” – if it means you are getting closer to God. Progression doesn’t always look like people are with you. People will leave you behind and you will have to leave people behind, those who pull you backward. I learned that private devotion is everything. My private devotion earned more reward (eternal) than a million people’s approval would. I learned to trust God with HIS decision – it was a time no one else could make a decision for me. I learned to TRUST without ANY backup plans. Like for real. There was no time that could be wasted, because it was all already wasted. There was no “well, if this option didn’t work out, I always have this.” No. It was “I have NO options but TRUST.” I had no clue what He would do. Trust + nothing. He broke perfectionism – I no longer need everyone to like me. I have learned so much more but where is intimacy with God if all of your experiences are scattered for all to see?

 

There were so many reasons that I could not be here. I tried to convince myself so many times that I must have misheard from the Lord and that He wasn’t calling me here. That He could not change a city through one person. That I could not be an effective leader like He called me to be. That a community was too much to ask for… But that’s not the God we serve!!! We serve a God who gives us life ABUNDANT. And sometimes we have to go through what seems like hell to get there. You have to go through the valley to get to the mountaintop. He taught me that we experience tremendous pain before we experience breakthrough. The TRUTH is – He called me once, He will pull through. I am one person and He can change a world through MANY “one persons” saying YES to Him (community). He knows community is essential and will not let us go through life alone! He created us all to be leaders, which are learners & followers of Him but they bring others with them. Leadership doesn’t always look like your church leaders asking you to be in a leadership position.

 

I’ve learned so much and my life right now is ONLY a testimony of Him. Thank you to all of you who told me to keep pushing through. Those of you who shared your experiences to help me through. Those who were CONSTANT encouragers. Those who answered stress-filled phone calls and still spoke TRUTH into my life. Those of you at home who made a valiant effort for our friendship. It is TOUGH moving  out on your own. And it takes a while for you to find your true spot. But the process is not meant to be rushed! His timing is perfect.

 

Please let this encourage you. I know there are many people out there going through the same thing I did, and those of you who are about to or will in the future. I have learned so much. I want my experiences to teach and help those to go through their tough seasons in a more confident way. It may not make it easier but there is HOPE on the horizon.

 

Love y’all. Thanks to those of you who made it through this entire post.

xx, Claire

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