“We took the job.”
My fingers trembled around my phone as I hit “send.” The lump in my throat made my neck ache as I attempted to hold back tears. I could hear the muffled words of my husband and our Uber driver talking about this “awesome city” that would soon be our home. I tried to focus on what they are saying but my thoughts were filled with the dozens of things we would need to do in preparation for our move. My husband would start his new job in less than two weeks and, not wanting to do life in separate states, we would need to sell our house as soon as possible. My mind was swirling at the thought of telling our three children about the decision we’d just made. What about our parents? Our friends? Who would come to the kids’ birthday parties? What about our commitments and our obligations and the plans already written in pen on next month’s calendar?
With the four words of that text message, everything was changing.
We were still miles from the airport and I had no idea how I was going to keep it together for the next twenty minutes. As we drove over an enormous bridge, I looked down to see an abandoned train yard on the shore of the river. The lights of the city reflected off the rusty metal. Somehow, in the midst of my noisy head, in the midst of the anxiety threatening to take over my body, a voice, loud and soft, whispered to my spirit, “Daughter, I am here too. Come and find me.”
Over the next few weeks of packing and planning and saying our “goodbyes,” I clung to my Father’s words. As the caravan of trailers and trucks pulled everything we owned into town, we drove over that same bridge. Again, I heard the invitation, “I’m here in this city, too. Come find me.”
Fast forward a few months, and settling in is taking longer than I thought it would. We are beginning to find our new groove but establishing deep relationships takes time and my heart longs for friends. How comforting it has been to remember the words of the One who knows me best as I sit alone, watching my kids play at the park, or as I clean my kitchen and glance up at the empty calendar.
I find hope in remembering my invitation on the bridge and I’ve started looking for Him in places I hadn’t before. I look for Him as I sip my coffee in the morning and watch the local news. I often find Him in the stories of foster kids needing homes, “tent cities” being torn down, and families destroyed by violence. His broken heart cries out and, in the quietness of my own life, I can hear it. I look for Him as I walk around my new city and I see His image shining through the faces of the strangers I pass. Ours is a city of diversity. Thousands and thousands of people with different ethnicities, economic statuses, sexual orientations, and religions. All declaring the glory of God as they breathe; most, completely clueless of their eternal worth. But I know something they don’t. It’s a secret that is meant to be shared because it comes with an invitation: