“It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at” – Rakim
Early this year, I was challenged by my mentor in a few areas of my life. One in particular is that he told me I needed to be praying about was where God wanted to take me next. In other words, I needed God to reveal where I would eventually be settling down to do what I’ve been called to do. It was important, but not urgent. By the end of the year, he said, we should know.
With that in mind, I continued to develop myself and do the work in front of me, as a husband, father, teacher, and minister. While doing these things, I was also in prayer and study, seeking the next destination the Lord had for me. I was born and bred in the 919, but I knew God would be moving me from there eventually. What I didn’t know was where and how.
The short version…
Near Father’s Day, I spoke with my wife (erinalmond.com) and, I told her that I believed I knew where and when we were going. I told her the “when” was Summer 2014, and trying to be theatric, I withheld the “where”. However, when she said, “Okay, let’s go Jacksonville,” I was slightly surprised, because that’s exactly the “where” God had spoken to me! After getting over the shock and awe that God actually speaks to her too (note the sarcasm), we began to make plans for how we were going to spend our final year in Durham and prepare to move to Jacksonville, Florida.
Within that next week, my wife had found an open position that she was interested in, but I, in my plans, knew that we weren’t trying to move until next year, so I told her to put that on pause. However, after realizing that this job was really interested in her, I went back to my mentor. From our conversation, I took away that I should never try to close a door that God might be opening, so, with that, I told my wife to go for it, and if she gets it, we’ll take it that God wants us to move sooner than later.
So, they fly her down for an interview, which she kills (because, ya know, she’s amazing), and they offer her the job on the spot. She gets back home and we’re excited because of what we see God doing, but…now I just need a job. Well, only two days later, the same school calls and offers me a position — and at this point the only thing I can say is “Look. At. God.”
The Lord showed us where He wanted us to go, but He disagreed with our when. And as God tends to do, He won. My brilliant one-year plan to move to Jacksonville, Florida, was scrapped, in favor of a one-month mad mash-up of packing up the house, closing up shop at our jobs, and saying goodbye to as many people as we could.
And where we at now? In Jax, a city I had never seen in person prior to this summer,
and preparing for a 2014 in which we are convinced that God has already set us up for more. If this year has taught me nothing else, it’s that God can do anything and take you anywhere. There is nothing outside God’s reach.