If you haven’t been following my blog, first of all, click that Follow button in the upper-right for semi-weekly awesomeness. Now you’ll know the next time I quit my job and move my whole family to a different time zone where I know no one, have next to no money, and have to sell most of my stuff to get there.
Welcome to my life.
I moved from St. Louis to Denver exactly one week ago because I heard it’s a wonderfully creative town and God is calling me to live out the artistic life he made for me. Risky, but worth it, right? Right?
Holy $&*% What Have I Done?!
I live in a busy area where the left-turn-only arrow has not been discovered yet. I’ve had to sit in a DMV line three times in one week, when the old St. Louis me could just walk right up to the counter. IKEA forgot some of the parts in the headboard I bought and I forgot the receipt when I showed it to them. My toddler is getting aggressive and so are all the drivers, but the pedestrians don’t give a crap. The air is thinner up here, I didn’t buy enough food, I failed my DVD shelf project, and spent the rest of my time putting together furniture or getting lost in a new city where turning around takes 5 minutes.
I make jokes, but it’s been hard. No job yet, but money is flying out of my wallet. My wife and I have gotten into more fights. I’ve actually cried three times this week alone when I normally might do it once a year, and that’s only during a Pixar movie (Bingbong…)
But I’m here. And I’ve learned a few tips I’d like to share for when your adventure gets hard.
Look to the Good
My wife was having a rotten day until a prairie dog popped out and then she squeed like a Doctor Who fangirl. When we drive, we can see gorgeous mountains. I’ve seen resaurants from at least 14 different countries. My IKEA furniture is AWESOME! Even though we’re right next to a main drag, our apartment complex is quiet.
And I’m within walking distance of a pizza place. Oh, behave! (I apologize for that very old reference)
I’ve suffered from depression and I know that taking in the good is part of healing, seeing that despair is often in our minds alone. You have to look up. Speaking of which…
Look to God
One day, my wife felt God telling us to slow down and take a breath. I ignored this advice and kept working hard on various projects. Tension rose and my wife and I had a blowout. We healed, but I could have avoided it altogether if I’d listened to God.
Thus far, he’s been rewarding my faithfulness in tiny, meaningful ways. Many things have gone well, but he’s also been speaking to me more about little things, giving me small encouragements to get me over humps. And he’s been showing me the glory of what he’s already given me, like the Rocky Mountains, or a family I just can’t get enough of this week.
Plus, I’ve had time to write and write and write. And this adventure has grown my blog following, too. Win-win! God is good, even in the hard times–especially in the hard times. When life sucks hard, he’s still awesome, so look to Him.
Realize That’s Just Part of the Adventure
In The Silver Chair, the fourth or sixth book in The Chronicles of Narnia depending on your set, Jill Pole sets of on an adventure with her friends. Things are quite calm at first, walking through a beautiful country. At the end of a good day, she says she likes having adventures.
Her companion, Puddleglum, replies, “We haven’t had any yet.”
Adventures involve hardship. Frodo had to walk through Mordor (not simply walk, but still), Luke Skywalker had to lose his hand, Cloud had to watch Aeris die, and the Pilgrims lost countless lives when the Mayflower first came to this country. If it’s too easy, it’s not an adventure. It’s just a walk.
Look up, catch your breath, hang in there. Every single day, choose to keep going. Or do like I did and go to a place where you have no choice but to keep going.
And most importantly, keep God involved. How else are you going to succeed?