Friends~ have you heard about Emily Wierenga’s newest book, Atlas Girl, yet? I grabbed a copy of it and I cannot wait to begin reading. This post is part of the Atlas Girl Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!
Like Emily, I found myself disillusioned with life. I then discovered God alongside a dead cactus…
I tried to stifle the tears as I watched my parents drive off. What had I done?
I graduated from college and secured my first job; that’s what.
Earlier that week I said my goodbyes, loaded the car, and moved across state lines to New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment.”
Gone was everything familiar to me. It was just my mini cactus, “Larry,” and me now. We would face my new life together.
Ironically, my first year in the “Land of Enchantment” stunk. Even Larry died. (It is possible to over water a cactus)
When a job opportunity opened up in Phoenix, Arizona, I jumped on it. I arrived in the “Valley of the Sun” and found new friends, the man of my dreams, and continued design “success.”
I had it all, yet all wasn’t enough.
At the height of my perceived awesomeness, God intervened. In the middle of the literal desert, He led me to a crossroad. I could sense God asking my heart: are you thirsty for me, or for the objects of your dreams? I started to suspect that the two would not perfectly intersect.
I was correct.
In the months that followed:
- The man of my dreams rejected my heart.
- The design job and money became meaningless.
- My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I felt disillusioned.
As my world seemingly shattered, God slowly constructed a fresh thirst for Him in my heart. I learned that God never promises prosperity, He promises His presence.
I was in a valley with the Son while living in the “Valley of the Sun.” God moved me away from what was familiar so I could become familiar with Him.
Presence over prosperity…
Since my time in that initial valley, the amazing Chad Steel did find me. This January marks our 7th year of wedded craziness and bliss.
My mother beat the doctor’s odds. She walked down the aisle at my wedding and held my hand as I gave birth to both of my children. On October 8, 2012, I watched her enter Heaven; achieving absolute victory over her cancer.
I said good-bye to the design world with its’ paint samples and pursued paintball wars, prom drama, and youth ministry instead. Currently I am a proud military wife (aka a moving guru) and stay at home momma. I know how to create beauty around my family, and I know how to pray beauty into the hearts of my family.
And my desire for a fancy office and a powerful corporate position is waning.
I had no idea that leaving the familiar and taking a chance on the unfamiliar would draw me closer to God- but it did, and it still does. God remains my constant in the chaos of change.
Presence over prosperity…
By the way, Chad and I are currently stationed in the “Land of Enchantment.” I am back to where I started. I think I shall buy another mini cactus and name him “Larry”…
Your turn to share:
Have you “discovered” God? If so, when and where did you encounter Him? Do share about your own journey in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.
More on Atlas Girl~
Emily T. Wierenga, award-winning journalist and author of 4 books, has released her first memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look. They say the book is like “Girl Meets God” meets “Wild” meets “Eat, Pray, Love.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy here. Proceeds from the book go towards supporting the Lulu Tree.
*this post was adapted from my archives.