Hey friends! Slowly but surely, I am introducing you all to our amazing Hot Tea and the Empty Seat contributors! One day, I will be organized enough to get them all on one page but I promise, it's coming! Today's contributor is Marissa from My Old Heart. She is such a sweetheart and she writes like you are sitting across from her at a coffeeshop! Enjoy...
You got a fast car
I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
Won't have to drive too far
Just 'cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living
Fast Car, Tracy Chapman
I've always loved this song. For awhile, when I was growing up, it was like one of my theme songs. How romantic it seemed that one day I would leave town and "finally see what it means to be living." Even as I've gotten older, there are still days when I wish I could just pack up and leave -- go wherever my heart desires... Atlanta, Denver, Seattle.
But what I failed to recognize as a teenager, and sometimes even as an adult, is that there's value and beauty in staying put. When I first moved to Augusta, I made sure it was no secret that I had every intention to be gone within a year. I found myself thinking, "no one is going to trap me here!" Meanwhile, it's been three years and the Lord has given me no signs that He has anything different planned for me anytime soon.
However there are days when I don't want to be an adult anymore. I think we've all seen this picture floating around social media at some point. I think it accurately depicts how I feel after I've had a rough work week and nothing seems to go my way.
There are days (sometimes weeks) when I believe that my life would be made easier if I could pack up and move to a bigger city, had a new car and a better paying job.
But then I remember that packing up and leaving town doesn't guarantee happiness or success. With a big move comes loads of new challenges to be faced. When I think of moving, what I'm really seeking is the comfort of an easy life; an escape from the difficulties, but that's far from what I'll get.
For as many times as I've wanted to pack my bags, I'm thankful I'm still here -- that the Lord has continuously closed doors. Because what I forget in those moments of discontentment, is that 1) life is full of challenges to be faced everywhere and 2) no matter where I go, my God is the God of that place too.
In 1 Kings 20, while the Arameans were being defeated by Israel, they mistook God for a God who wasn't sovereign over all things and places, saying this:
"Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they..."
As I read this I thought, how foolish of them to think that God was only the God of one place. But in my folly, I too am guilty of the same sin. I often believe that lie that God is only good, loving and sovereign in one place or another, that He is bound by the things that bind me.
I'm sure we've all heard the saying, "bloom where you're planted." It's something I heard over and over when I first moved to Augusta, and for so long I've been afraid to put down roots -- to trust that this place was exactly where the Lord had called me.
And in my sinful thinking, God has come to meet me; reminding me that this place to which He as called me is good and that He sees my needs and meets them in ways I don't always understand. As I become more aware of the ways in which the Lord has provided I have an increased reasons to put my trust in Him. Which means I'm free to allow Him to plant me firmly in Augusta-- or to move me to Atlanta, Denver or Settle -- because He is the God of all places.
In this season of life where I feel like I have a million things to complain about, the Spirit of the Lord has also brought to my attention a million and one things of which I can be thankful.
Marissa blogs over at My Old Heart. She works for a local news station in her home state which I think is super cool. She write, loves music, and has an awesome blog so go check it out!