Krista’s Journey from Suburbia to the Big City- Part II

imageI had my dream job staying home with my baby girl, my husband had his dream job as a local youth pastor in an amazing church. We owned a beautiful home, had all the friends you could hope for, and we were excitedly trying for another baby…

But then God threw my eggs in the creek.

I’ll explain…

I had been reading a book called “Scouting The Divine” By Margaret Feinberg. The book is about a woman on a journey to bring to life some of the Bible’s greatest analogies that often get dismissed due to the fact that we aren’t able to fully comprehend them in the modern world we live in.

One of the analogies is one in which Jesus refers to Himself as the ‘Good Shepherd’. In Feinberg’s search, she follows a skilled shepherd named Lynne seeking to learning her craft firsthand, and because of it, find the power behind the words Jesus used to describe Himself.  Not surprisingly, she finds the shepherd to be a loving and patient leader who wants the best for her flock…no doubt in the same way that the Lord relates with us.

However, my revelation came when I read what Feinberg describes as “One of the most meaningful lessons about God”…

It came from the geese in the barn.

I remember that they were constantly walking around.

“What are they looking for?” I asked Lynne.

“They’re looking for their eggs,” she [the shepherd] said.

“Where are they?” I asked.

“I threw them in the creek,” she said.

My eyes bugged in disbelief. I couldn’t help blurting out, “Why?” Her action seemed so cold and cruel- a far cry from the shepherd who loved her sheep.

“Because they were infertile,” she said. “They would never hatch. I need to get these geese back to their regular life. For three months they have been sitting on infertile eggs. The only way to get them back to the way they are supposed to be living is to take away their dead eggs.”

Her answer helped me understand her action as one of compassion and wisdom. I couldn’t help but wonder how often I have sat on dreams that were never going to come to fruition or, worse, sat on empty promises of the enemy that would never yield life- only self destruction and death.

I thought back to the numerous times where God has been faithful to remind me, “It’s time to get onto the life I have for you.”

The words might as well have lept off the page! I could instantly feel the weight of them on my heart!

You see, that lovely life that I was so content living – that I was truly happy living – it had changed abruptly. One day it was exactly as I had described, and the next it seemed almost unfamiliar.  No doubt, life has a tendency of doing that to all of us at some point – a health issue is found, a friendship comes to an end, a family is torn apart, a job is lost, a loved one passes, or a combination of such things occur – and mine was of the latter category.

I was trapped in my circumstances with no way out. I felt like the life that I knew – the life that I loved – was crumbling. Some of those closest to me, those I had relied on the most, now felt like strangers to me. There were even some looking in from the outside, not knowing my situation but sensing a change, who met me in my heartache with equal amounts of gossip and speculation.

Like a goose looking for my eggs, I was frantically trying to piece the perfect life I had created back together!  Never once considering that – maybe, just maybe – God never intended for my life to be put back together exactly the way He had found it.

Maybe my life wasn’t crumbling because of outside forces or because I wasn’t strong enough. Maybe the Lord was holding the chisel – slowly picking away, stripping me of the unnecessary relationship expectations that I had put on people, when instead, I should have been relying on Him. Ridding me of the deep baggage that I had been carrying for far too long, not even realizing how it had been holding me back. Even chiseling away at the dreams that I had been pursuing, knowing ultimately they didn’t align with what He had planned for my future.

I began to ponder, “What if what I am going through, this heartache I feel, is Divine?”

I could feel the Lord beckoning me back to Him saying, “It’s time to get back to the life I have for you.”

I then became curious, “What kind of life could He possibly have for me?” (I can’t help but smirk to myself as I type that)

Months later, my husband came to me like he had done a handful of times before, with a job description he had found. He began reading aloud the extensive qualifications needed for the available position.  Not even a minute into it, I remember stopping him, snatching the paper from his hands and continuing to read the rest out loud myself! My heart was pounding and I found myself having to stop every couple of sentences to take a deep breath.  

I couldn’t believe it! They were SO specific…and yet, they were looking for Ricky!

The Location?  No other than New York City!

My daughter Gia
My daughter Gia

So I went in search for the life the Lord had designed for me…

And 6 months later I have found myself living here, in a 650 sq ft apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I have traded my 4 bedroom house in suburbia, for a one bedroom apartment in the city that costs nearly double the price. And the sound of crickets and frogs that was once outside my window, have now, humorously, been replaced with the sound of continuous honking that goes on into the night. We no longer have our two cars, but instead rely on the subway and a good pair of Nike’s to get us where we need to be. We have also (although at times, painstakingly) decided to set aside our hopes for another baby – possibly indefinitely – unless the Lord were to tell us otherwise.

So where, do you ask, is the Hallelujah in all of this?

I can tell you that it isn’t in the fact that my heartache has magically disappeared now that I’ve relocated to the other side of the country. On the contrary, I am only beginning my healing process. But instead of feeling paralyzed by my pain, I am empowered by it; knowing that God can still use me in spite of my hurts…quite possibly even, because of them.

Knowing also that although I am far from everything I have ever known in the suburbs in what feels like a foreign country at times and living a life I would have never thought I had the courage to live…that even on the most difficult of days I possess the overwhelming sense of peace that I first found in a daydream just months ago.

The peace in knowing that THIS is exactly where my Shepherd has led me.

The lord is my Shepherd, I have everything that I need.
Psalm 23:1

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Krista’s Journey from Suburbia to the Big City- Part I

Last fall, I would often find myself daydreaming; imagining where God would take me and my family next.  I could always clearly visualize myself in a room filled to the ceiling with boxes of all of our belongings in our new home. I would go on to wonder what the rest of the house would look like, and in what city our new beginning would be located in. The part of my reoccurring dream that always resonated the most to me was that, instead of feeling the substantial stress associated with the task of moving, or the loneliness of being so far from the loved ones we left behind , was that there was always an overwhelming peace that was able to lull the other feelings almost entirely. Peace that can only come from the confidence you have, when you know you’re exactly where God wants you to be.

Oh, how I longed for that peace…

Because after all, that was a daydream.

At the time, I thought I knew so clearly what God wanted for me and my family… My husband Ricky and I were happily living in the beauty that is suburbia at its finest (Shout out to Camas, WA!!!)  Ricky had a great opportunity as a youth pastor of a church that was not only everything we could want in a church, but the people attending there became an integral part of our lives.  I am almost at a loss for the accurate words to describe how much they all meant to us; they were our family in every sense of the word.

Me and Rachel
Me and Rachel
I was also lucky enough, to have some of the most uh-mazing friends! Couple friends, mommy friends, girls night out friends (you know, the ones you get reeeally loud with and laugh till it hurts! Cheaper than therapy as I can attest to, and a heck of a lot more fun!)  I even had a friend who was nearly 25 years older than me that served as my mentor for years. And then there was Rachel. Never in my life have I experienced a friendship like the one I have with Rachel.  We had only been friends for 4 ½ years and yet it always felt like our souls just ‘got’ each other. We instantly connected and the rest is history.

Rachel is always the very first person I call. One specific time I remember calling her when I was in the face of an unimaginable tragedy. And when I no longer could find the words and my tears filled the silence, I can recall her lifting me up to our Heavenly Father in prayer as she fought back the tears herself. I also remember calling her when I was 7 months pregnant and was sent to the hospital because I was having signs of preterm labor. I of course tried to call my mom, and more importantly, the man who got me in the ‘initial condition’ to begin with; My husband. But unfortunately for me, I couldn’t get ahold of either of them. Even better, my husband was out of town for the week and had no cell service. Yeah, that was a pretty bad day. Without even having to ask, Rachel instantly left work after hearing the situation I was in and drove 40 minutes to be by my side in the hospital. If I ever need a good laugh I just think back to what it would have been like for me and Rachel to deliver a baby by ourselves. Oh my… Thankfully it didn’t come to that. But yes, she’s THAT friend in my life. Always will be.

imageWhile in Washington, we were also lucky enough to buy our first house. We bought it brand new but it wasn’t anything super fancy. Although, compared to what I am living in now- well, that’s another story for a different time. We never felt like we HAD to buy a house though.  We were completely content with what we had, when it felt as if God literally dropped the house into our laps. From the moment we moved in, we made the decision to use what He had so graciously given us to bring honor to Him any way that we could. We were always having bible studies, play dates, movie nights with our teens, premarital counseling sessions, and deep fry parties! Bet you never considered bringing glory to the Lord Almighty through a vat of bubbling hot oil!  Ohhhh, Why yes indeed!  And you absolutely must get one. Like right now. You will thank me.

The neighborhood we lived in was charming. It picturesquely surrounded the local elementary school that I had so often imagined walking my children to. The tree lined streets seemed to come alive in the fall, turning every color of the sun, only to transform into pink and white blossoms by the beginning of spring.  Each night, with the windows open, we would  fall asleep to the tune of crickets and frogs. Even better however, was that we were only 2.1 miles to the nearest Costco and Walmart! Which if we’re honest, is all that reeeeally matters isn’t it?

Our neighbors were rare in that, our families were close. We would often come together and have barbeques on the street, or the little boys next door would ring our doorbell and ask if our dog could come play (seriously, have you heard of anything cuter?)  I often joked that checking the mail would take an average of 45 minutes because you would “get stuck” …er,… be “catching up” with someone down the street. The conversation would usually end with an invitation for either family to stop by for dessert and coffee that night. We accepted nearly every time.

imagePossibly the most exciting thing, was that our little family of two was growing! About 4 years into our marriage, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl named Gia into the world. I was lucky enough to stay home with her from the very beginning, and I remember throughout her first year of life being so captivated and cherishing nearly every moment I got to spend with her. So much so, that soon after having her, my husband and I began trying for a second child. We had the names picked out, the new nursery room predetermined, and I had stocked up on prenatal vitamins…

And then God flipped my seemingly happy life upside down.

Yes, God.

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