This, friends, is what’s literally known as “The Loneliest Road in America.”
It actually has that title.
And this, friends, is what church planting to a new city as a single woman feels like.
The Loneliest Road in America.
Oh come on, I’m not being THAT dramatic. Maybe only a little bit. But if you want me to be real, I’ll be real. This road is exactly how this past year has felt. A lot. Not all the time. But often enough to make me uncomfortable.
My point in writing this is not to be depressing. Or self-pitying. Or pessimistic.
My point in writing this is to bring you in to the not-so-glamourous life of risking on a promise from God.
I want to bring you in to the day-by-day…the unfiltered practicals…the not glory stories.
When God said move to Raleigh, I expected simplicity. I expected ease and smoothness and instant reception of the glory of God. I expected immediate and obvious confirmations that I heard Him correctly… getting the perfect house He promised, ease in finding a job, abundant friendships, people getting saved left and right.
Because in my head, if it was His will, it would be easy.
“Let me just…reimburse you for that soft-serve.”
Here’s a taste of what the past 9 months have had in store for me:
-Applied for over 200 jobs before moving here and heard back from exactly 3. (Mind you, I only needed to hear back from this one.)
-Depleted most of my savings account in the process of moving. (AKA ate Ramen for a solid 2 weeks.)
-Debit card got declined at Whole Foods TWICE because I mis-calculated how much money I really had. (Whoops)
-Didn’t have water in our house for the first 2 weeks
-Didn’t have a lot of windows either in our house, now that I think about it.
-Oh and we found mold. Yay.
-(Almost) got kicked out of a coffee shop for using their internet because we couldn’t afford to start ours up yet.
-Family entered one of the more difficult seasons of their lives immediately after me moving
-Started dealing with old sin patterns again (dumb)
-Car overheated in rush hour on the side of i-40 on the one day I decide to wear heels…
-Unexpectedly had to buy a new radiator and…
-Commuting 45 min to work in a jeep every day is way more expensive than I ever thought it’d be so I…
-Began the process of selling the car… only to realize I had to get a NC license, tags, insurance, etc.
-Cue me taking my driver’s test
-Meanwhile, I never get called back after a date with a guy that I thought things went really well with.
-6 months later, my car is still for sale.
-Cue me dropping the price of my car every week on Craigslist
-So I learned how to apply for car loans
-Get denied because … wait for it…
-My identity was stolen by someone in Wichita.
-Cue filing police reports
-Cue talking to credit unions
-Also, taxes. (But those actually weren’t so bad)
-Meanwhile, Raleigh named “Worst City in America for Dating” Good.
-4 of my best friends are currently in the most difficult season they’ve ever faced
-Roommate unexpectedly moved out
-And in a new city, as a single woman, I’m doing all of these things what feels like alone.
Y’all. Moving to Raleigh has been the furthest thing from easy.
The thing about the Promise Land is that God left giants in it.
In Numbers, when the Israelites are right on the edge of the place God promised, the land that FLOWS with milk and honey, they send in spies to check it out. Not only was the Promise Land completely occupied, it was occupied with GIANTS.
“Then the men who had gone up with him (to spy) said,
“We are not able to go up against the people,
for they are stronger than we are….
There we saw the Nephilim,
and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers,
and so we seemed to them.” – Numbers 13:31 and 33
If anything, this only further confirms that Raleigh is my Promise Land. But it also teaches me something else…did you catch that last verse?
I will not see myself as a grasshopper. I will not be squished by my circumstances. There is joy to be had in them! There is glory to be experienced in the MIDDLE of the pain, the frustration, the confusion, the mystery. This is the ONLY time I have the chance to choose hope and victory! I won’t have to choose hope or victory in Heaven; I will LIVE it. My time on earth is the only time I get to do that. I will only be a grasshopper if I truly believe I am a victim. And I’m not a victim. I’m victorious. I’m a warrior. I have the King of kings in my corner fighting for me. I already win.
SO BRING IT ON, GIANTS.
I will FIGHT for my Promise Land…with everything I have…and I will not quit.
And if “smooth seas never made a skilled sailor,” then I am becoming the most-skilled sailor that ever was. There are so many things I know how to do now that I wouldn’t have even known where to start with a year ago.
I am tougher. I am more resilient. My hands are calloused. I am stronger, more worn, experienced. But I am steadfast.
Because He tells me to not quit. He tells me He won’t give me more than I can bear. And He tells me He’s in the middle of the storm. So why would I leave it?
Life is hard. But often the hardest and most difficult places have the most treasure behind them.
Be sure to stay long enough to see it.