Truth is...I never meant to be here.
If you would’ve told this Arkansas “home-er” that he was going to be living in Texas serving in a traditional Methodist church 4 years ago, I would have thought you were crazy. That wasn’t really in my plans. And yet, now that I’m here I know it was by no mistake or accident. So how did this happen? It all goes back to a few nights of stress and a few key steps of faithfulness.
A few years ago God began to drastically change my life. The first 25 years of my life were spent in Northwest Arkansas. In high school, often people would say things like - “I can’t wait to get out of here.” They wanted something different, bigger, better I guess, but that wasn’t me. I loved my hometown and didn’t want to leave.
One night around Thanksgiving of 2011, I was feeling stressed out. In fact, I couldn’t sleep at all. Whenever something starts rolling around in my mind at night, I have a hard time letting it go. On this particular night I was having a hard time figuring out what was causing my stress. It felt heavy. Something about this stress felt different than other stressful moments. I knew God was doing something.
Often God has shown up in my life in all the ways I don’t expect - in the small and simple, the mundane or even in the stress and anxiety of life. In retrospect, I call this stress I was feeling that night “holy anxiety.”
I know... it’s kind of a cheesy way of putting it, but there truly was something sacred in the stress. I knew God was telling me to move. To take the next step. To begin a new adventure. And I was scared.
I didn’t want to leave home. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to go wherever it was God was wanting me to go. Perhaps that’s what was causing the anxiety, or perhaps God was creating the right tension in me to make a change. I needed the stress to push me out of my comfort zone and into a place of dependance on God.
So my wife and I moved for the first time ever to a new state in a new time zone in a large metropolitan area - Atlanta, Georgia. You see, there was something in that stress and anxiety that I knew God was working in. Today I look back and know that it began a journey I never dreamed would happen. One that led me to another new state and to another new town - Katy, Texas.
Now, I’m learning to not run from God’s calling, but to run to it. Get in the mess, dig down, and wrestle through the tension because God's in there. It seems the more I do this, the more I begin to experience God. I begin to understand that God is pulling me out of my comfort zone into a greater story. It’s how I’ve ended up in Texas - following a calling I never knew would be happening.
So, while I may have never meant to be here, it seems God certainly did.
Written by Mark
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.