Dusting off the shelves

Hi! I’m Carmen. Nice to meet you. I used to blog here.

Here I am again, dusting off the shelves, cleaning out the cobwebs and restarting my sharing of thoughts. Maybe no one is following me, and for now, that’s ok. Why? Because I’m about to share some information that not many people know about yet. I’m not ready for them to know yet, but I need an outlet for my thoughts, and lately, there are a lot of them.

………

Lots of things have happened this year, especially with my family. My grandfather had a stroke, two of my dad’s siblings’ marriages fell apart, my parents bought a resort on our lake, my sister is going back to school to be a nurse… And amidst all of this, I have changed. I’ve grown as a person, learned some things about myself, had some weird experiences with dating (no more online dating for me!), and biggest of all, realized that Chicago is not my home.

I have realized that I took community for granted when I lived in Virginia. I didn’t have to worry about having friends or the lack of being able to connect with people. Since I’ve been in Chicago I have found it incredibly difficult to find community. I have a few friends, but everyone is so busy with their own things that it is difficult to connect very often. I love being close to my family, but I honestly miss having friends and being able to have good conversation over food and wine. I miss spiritual camaraderie. I have felt out of place for a while and also that something was going to change, but I didn’t know what it was until I recently spent a week in Cincinnati with my best friend and her hubs. I feel like God is calling me there. When I returned after the week, it was the first time I did not feel like I was coming home. It felt, instead, like I had left home.

Since that week in Cincinnati, I have been very excited about moving. I was wrapped up in the excitement and the peace that I felt over finally being “cleared” to leave Chicago. I felt myself moving forward without looking back, family be damned and I’ll be out of here as soon as possible. But, yesterday I went for a walk and while walking, I was praying. I heard, “I’m not done with you here yet.” Sobering because I was feeling so forward focused (even though I tried not to be) that I didn’t want to even think about continuing to be involved in relationships, church, etc. here, because I knew I would just be leaving soon.

But, what I heard was different than that. I am still called to “be” here until I leave. I must still go to church and have relationships and be involved in the community until I go to a new community. The call to move is not the call to stop existing in one location, just to try to jumpstart existence in a new location. I need to live and be where I am, no matter if I am sent to a new location tomorrow or a few months from now. I honestly don’t know how to do this, but I must not isolate.

Since about a week ago, I have felt plagued with doubt about if I had really heard a call from God to move. I was second-guessing and feeling stressed, putting too much pressure on coordinating life to make sure I could leave when it was convenient. I lost sight of the fact that GOD called me and HE will lead me at the time that HE has planned for. And, right now, all I need to do is live like God has called me to live now. To live in the knowledge of who HE says I am, not who my perceptions tell me I am. And to continue to learn about who I am in HIM and how my identity is in HIM alone, and what that actually means and how that informs how I live.

If I cannot live where I am, moving to Cincinnati will not be a step in a new direction, it will only be the same tired steps in a new location. I do feel His call on me and that does hold excitement, but I need to not be so forward focused that I loose sight of what is here and now. Waiting to move should not be waiting at all, instead it should be living just the same until it is time to move. I want to go from living to living, being to being.