Beyond the Shores

It’s 1:21 am and I’m wide awake (thanks to the coffee drink I made at the cafe tonight. You the real MVP, iced peppermint white mocha). All 4 or 5 of the boxes from my ALC apartment are unpacked and put away and my room looks fantastical. I’ve sat on my bed or paced my newly vacuumed carpet praying from both my lips and my heart and it finally hit me. A week into being back home everything I learned about Jesus, myself and others has finally clicked.

I’ve glanced at these tokens, letters and pictures neatly organized in various places in my room and I finally understand why God pushed me to go to Atlanta Leadership College and why I most likely won’t be going back.

Before ALC I depended too much on myself and my own abilities. If you asked me beforehand if I trusted God with all the major and minor details that happened this school year, I’d lie to your face and say yes. The big “aha” moment boils down to this: He placed me in a season where I had no other choice but to seek and trust Him. He put amazing people in my path that spoke life into me and also shined a light on what I didn’t want to see. He showed me how he sees me and that he is a good good Father if I allow myself to think and act as His daughter. And he gave me hope in my future in that Father/Daughter relationship.

I’ve entered small pruning seasons in my life before but I’m a firm believer that this past season was the biggest one of all. In a place where change is more like a microwave, I kind of slow roasted my way through. I’m not fully cooked but all the raw parts of me are becoming more than perfect; the God flavors are coming to the surface.

But why do I believe that I won’t be returning for a second year, you ask? Because in order for me to chase after what he wants me to do for His kingdom, I had to be in a place where hindrances were exposed and removed so that I can move forward. If going back for a second year is part of it, then I will obey and go, but I don’t think I need to. At first I was afraid to acknowledge the possibility of not going back and I cried like a baby. I shrunk back into that fear of the unknown again. God caught me before I could go back too far and revealed to me a couple of things.

1. He showed me the end of this year and how he was going to provide for it. But that it was just for this year, not for the next. I believe that he knew I’d plan too far ahead and try doing the next year without Him and we all know that could turn out badly.

2. I also believe that he revealed what he wants me to do next and I’m seriously excited about it. So excited, that the thought of a second year seemed less than thrilling.

Do I want to return and be with the best AC family ever? Yes. Do I want to continue being trained in a Godly environment? Yes. But do I need to continue with ALC to do it? Nope. And it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world or the end of this journey.

I’m beyond grateful for God luring me from the warm sand beneath my toes and into the salty waves. The water is only a bit past my knee caps, but I want to go deeper until I can’t feel the sand underneath me and simply let Him carry me further out. He’s not going to let me drown and to have that kind of confidence in that statement brings so much indescribable peace in my heart that I’m smiling.

I’m ready for the waves to pull me further from the shores of false security.


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