Well this month most certainly did not go the way I expected. BUT, it went God’s way, and for that I could not be happier. May’s investment was in self care, and my adventure was packing my apartment up (actually, my dad doing so) in less than a week and preparing to move back across the country.
When May started, I decided to invest in self care because I knew grad school would be starting and taking over my life. I wasn’t exaggerating or overestimating whatsoever. This MBA program has truly taken over the majority of my time. I wake up before 5am almost every morning to get some schoolwork done before I go to work. Most days, I have to continue working on school stuff when I get home. I have off work one day per week to take my proctored exams and to focus just on school. I also devote Saturdays and Sundays for this, while still going to church and finding time to spend with friends. I easily spend about 30 hours per week on school stuff, but to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing. My education has always been my priority and I don’t take the blessing of these opportunities for granted.
Due to all this going on, my first act of self care was buying a bunch of plants and outdoor seating for my balcony to create a cozy space for me to get away. Sadly this became futile since I ended up moving out of that apartment, but more on that soon. I had planned an amazing solo trip to Telluride that I ended up having to cancel due to school, the move, and a couple other factors. It was a tough decision for me to come to, but an invaluable lesson in sacrifice which I know God is leading me in.
So you’re probably wondering why I would be moving after all of the amazing things I’ve talked Colorado up to be. Believe me, they’re all true, but this month I learned that sometimes God has different plans for us than we had for ourselves, but trusting Him in them is a greater adventure than any we could come up with ourselves.
As I mentioned in last month’s I&A blog, going home for Easter was the hardest “exit” I’ve had since moving to Colorado, by far. For some reason, I felt differently than I ever had about the idea of moving back home. My heart felt so hesitant to leave my family behind again, but this time, having no idea how long it would be before I would see them all next. I talked about the possibility of moving back, as my lease would soon be up, but my immediate reaction was to stick to my guns of not letting there be a chance I would leave Colorado so soon. I had found a home here, truly started my “big girl” life here, and found a love for the outdoors that was waiting to be unleashed for longer than I realized. But, God was moving. God was leading. God was showing me He really knows what’s best for me.
My dad brought up the idea of moving again while on Facetime with me a few weeks after getting back to Colorado, visibly seeing the anxiety I had been bottling up since school had started. I had to figure out a way to not work full time anymore (since I knew I couldn’t also balance full time school) but still pay my bills, work hard enough to succeed in my classes but still keep my sanity, and find enough time to enjoy myself, friends, and family, but still balance all my other obligations. On that phone call I quickly realized that this would not be possible while staying in Colorado. My anxiety levels had not been this high since my worst days, and that was clear to my family members who know me better than anyone. Without having them close by to rely on for comfort & support during this stressful season of being in grad school, I knew I would soon reach my wit’s end. So after prayer, discussions with family, and a lot of self-reflection, I decided to move back to Virginia/North Carolina. My dad did not skip a beat before buying a plane ticket to Colorado to pack up my apartment for me (only two days later I might add) while I continued to work and do my schoolwork. He knew that after recovering from two hand surgeries to boot, I wouldn’t be able to manage packing up by myself so soon (even though I tried to convince him I could). Words can’t describe how grateful I am for all he’s done to make this move (and the last) possible for me.
As many of you know, my grandparents own the best breakfast restaurant in Chesapeake, VA. My grandma, the manager, has been in severe pain for years due to her knees. The surgeries she needs would put her out of the restaurant for months, so she put them off, worried about how the restaurant would stay afloat while she was out. Well, that’s where God had a plan all along. I’m literally going to school for Business and Hospitality Management– I don’t find it a coincidence that the exact place my family needs me is the same place where I can get more relevant, valuable work experience than I can right now here in Colorado. I’ll be able to manage my schoolwork so much easier with the opportunity to choose many of my own work hours (not to mention the restaurant is only open from 6am-2pm anyway) and still learn the ins and outs of running a business as I help my grandma out during her time away. I’ll also be able to save incredible amounts of money while I finish my degree, so that when I do, I’ll have the world open up to me again for whatever opportunities may come my way in my career.
Discerning what God wanted me to do in this situation was MUCH more difficult than when I knew He was calling me to Colorado. I was so conflicted because not one part of me would have ever thought of moving back to Virginia/North Carolina only a month before. Because of this, I knew it was only God who could have allowed my heart to change so drastically, so quickly. The peace I had with the decision was all I needed to know that this is how God had divinely arranged the timing of my life, my family’s lives, and each step I took along the way of getting here. I can’t wait to be able to spend time with my family again. Leaving the house a month after turning 17 for college was a decision I made with sacrifices in tact, and moving across the country a month before turning 20 included even more. But those decisions and sacrifices taught me so much about myself, about the nature of our God, and about how I want my will for my life to align perfectly with His. So here I am, taking another leap of faith, but one that takes me just one step closer to all that the Lord wants to do in and through my life.