Sunday, January 23, 2011

Take a Sad Song...

This week I finalized my move to Clinton, Iowa, by getting all my belongings from Denver. It was rather daunting, but my family helped immensely. In a few short days we had everything I owned packed in two cars and were heading home.

As I was driving east, away from the city, I started re-thinking over what I was doing. I had already made up my mind, but as I watched the mountains disappear in my rear-view mirror, I thought that most people probably wouldn't understand what I was doing and why. Who would want to leave a beautiful place like Denver, Colorado, for a little place like Clinton?

As I watched the sun set over the mountains, the Beatles' song "Hey Jude" started playing from my iPod. Not exactly my life's theme song, but, one of the lines stuck out more than normal. "Take a sad song, and make it better." And that's what I felt like I was doing.

When I thought about Denver, why I moved there, and what it represented, I couldn't help feeling glad that it was vanishing in my rear-view. My reason for moving no longer existed. Most of my efforts had ended in failure. The freedom I had craved lead to a feeling of imprisonment. One of my closest friends was dead to me, locked in a literal prison. And most of all, I felt like I was slowly missing out on being a part of the lives that meant the most. Life was like a slow song played out in minor keys.

In retrospect, I feel like my move to Denver was a good example of what happens when you do what you want to do, not what God wants you to do. Just because I was able to move, doesn't mean it was the best option or decision. Like Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:12, "'Everything is permissible for me'--but not everything is beneficial." Of course, at the time I didn't see it that way. What I saw was what I wanted, and I told myself if God didn't want it, he would close the doors.

Even though (now) I don't feel like what I did was the best, God still took care of me. He provided a job a month after I moved. I always had food, clothing, a place to live and transportation.

And then, over the course of time, God started closing doors. Relationships failed, efforts at involvement failed, friendships failed. I didn't like who I was becoming, a person I didn't know, making choices that I knew weren't the best. I had stopped doing what I loved.

Then I started to feel like God was pulling me in another direction, I just didn't want to rush into another move like I had before. So I waited. And then, my job failed, and I knew it was time to come home. My job really was the only thing keeping me in Denver because I didn't want to quit in a downward-spiraled economy. When that door closed, it was more of a slam, but it was all I needed.

I've written other blog posts about why I wanted to move, so I won't rehash everything. Besides feeling God's pull, I wanted to be close to family, to know that feeling of home again, and to be able to do more good than I was doing. So after flying home and being there about a week, I knew for sure that I wanted to move back.

Since getting everything moved, I've felt an incredible sense of peace and happiness. Even though I don't have a job yet, the process up to this point has shown me that God's working everything out just as he would have it. Each step has fallen into place perfectly, and I know that will continue. The sad song is being made better, little by little.


Jess said...

I love this and love that you feel like you are in the right place but selfishly am so sad you aren't in Colorado with me anymore and miss you.

Maureen Kennedy said...

Oh, Elise! I know that feeling very well. I too had a similar situation moving from Chicago (which I loved) down here to Florida. I pray that this decision to move back home will be blessed, that you will find opportunities for ministry, fellowship, work, and family.

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