my friend kelly has been posting words of truth on her blog. she’s posting for 31 days this month and has been writing mostly about being in the wilderness. she’s been camped out in exodus for the last week and so i’ve been thinking about my own wilderness season. i can relate to most of what she’s saying about feeling lonely, the pain and practice of waiting and what it feels like when god takes you the long way around. except here’s the problem. i feel like i’m not supposed to feel any of those things because i have apparently entered my proverbial promised land.
in the months leading up to my move i had a perfect picture of what life would be like here. i wasn’t completely naive to the fact that it would still be transition and there would be bits that would feel hard. but the job. the job was going to be everything i’d ever hoped for. life would be good. students would be in and out of my apartment constantly, my staff would always want to be together. we’d drink coffee and talk about the deep things of our hearts for hours on end. i’d be the cool one who took trips to fro yo at midnight and retold war stories from my time abroad. i’d find friends easily, join a small group, help hold babies on sunday mornings. ministry would be vast and easy. the sun and would shine, the birds would chirp and i’d finally see the abundance i’ve been claiming.
i expected to bring the glory clouds and manna from the wilderness with me to the promised land.
instead, i live alone and miss having roommates desperately. ministry looks like fire drills and discipline meetings and 80s skate nights. most of my staff doesn’t like coffee and we have not once traipsed about town for fro yo. i send emails and plan meetings and give feedback. i’ve traded the manna for caf food and the glory cloud for a permanent indention on my couch. i spend most evenings alone and watch more netflix than i care to admit.
i like my job. i am grateful for it. but life looks different. outside of leslie knope and my co-workers [who i am beyond thankful for] i don’t really have friends. i’ve struggled to find new community. the boxes are all unpacked and my apartment is decorated but i don’t always feel settled.
when the israelites crossed the jordan into the promised land they rested for a hot minute, thanked the lord for bringing them so far and set remembrance stones for what he’d done. then they set up camp and looked at the walls of jericho. the walls they’d have to go tear down. the walls they’d have to march around until they finally fell.
they were in the promised land but they still had to fight for the inheritance of it.
no one ever told me this part of the story. i had no idea what i was getting myself into. and instead of marching around my own walls with belief that they will indeed crumble i’ve been camped out, staring at them; looking backwards to the wilderness. i’ve been missing the manna and glory clouds and people i was wandering with. the truth is, i don’t want to fight for anything anymore. i don’t even want to acknowledge walls are in front of me, let alone march around them and believe they’ll fall. i just want the milk and honey to flow. i just want to pitch my tent, hang up my hammock and enjoy.
but that is not the option.
the option is to, one more time, face the thing in front of me. the walls of loneliness, bitterness, wondering and second guessing. the walls of discontentment and negativity. the walls of what ifs and if onlys.
my jericho walls are not an indication of defeat, but a chance for the lord to prove himself faithful again.
so i’m standing up. i’m getting out of the camp i’ve stayed in and moving towards the land that has already been given but has yet to be won.