Before we really get going well, that title (ya know, of the website and whatnot) deserves a nod and a bit of explanation.
I’m an absolute sucker for a good play on words, and I love it all the more when aforementioned play on words just fits and feels right.
About two years ago, I got saved- legitimately so. The testimony will be forthcoming, but it was a long, drawn-out process. It wasn’t like those spur of the moment deals; consider it more of a dance back and forth between me and old’ JC.
A year and a half ago, though, I moved back home to Cochran, Georgia. Having spent my entire life here in this city, I was not really expecting much of a jolt in my lifestyle.
I was quite wrong.
Living in Milledgeville and being a Georgia College Bobcat was a fantastic experience, and it put me in a routine lifestyle of being surrounded by activities, friends, and fun. And wi-fi.
Basically, a lot of distractions.
When I graduated from this amazing college existence, my lifestyle went out the window. I was no longer surrounded by friends, fun, weekend debauchery, etc.
And the wi-fi went out the window with the bathwater, too.
I felt alone, and I was away from those distractions that college provides. This created a space in which I finally had to face myself, and it wasn’t pretty.
See, I was so used to seeing myself through the proud veneer that college allowed. But, it was time to break away from who I had become and see what this “adult Emmie” was all about.
I have very seldom felt out of place or completely uncomfortable, but this period in my life has been the very epitome of that.
I wasn’t really sure how to face the current stage I was in. I didn’t know how to “be an adult.” I didn’t know how to exist or live without a large community of peers that had shrouded me in warmth and comfort.
In reality, Cochran, the place where I’d grown up, felt every bit as alien as a new town would.
So, ultimately, what do you do when you don’t really feel at home…well…anywhere?
This was a question I constantly had at the back of my mind; I wanted my place in a stage of my life that was tumultuous, completely different, and at odds with anything I had ever experienced before.
I had this itch I couldn’t scratch- an angst, a discomfort if you will, that I had never felt before.
I felt really weird, and all I can really say was that I had a “God-itch.” Sounds crazy and weirdly religious-y, but that’s ultimately what it was.
The only real way I could think of to satisfy this was listening to Podcast sermons, and one day, in the midst of these sermons, I stumbled across a Scripture that has marked my journey back home, and the angst, discomfort, and just overall heart drought that has seemed to mark my life over the past year.
Hosea 2:14- “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.”
When I heard this, it seemed like it characterized the spiritual and life struggle I had been facing.
“Speak tenderly” to her? To me?
Effectively, God was telling me, “Emmie, you’ve got to come away with me. You need to be away from the friends, the phone, the distractions- all that wants to pull you away from me. Your heart’s a mess.”
What a far cry from the God who sends lightning bolts to punish my straying from Him- these lies that my heart had drummed up and believed.
Cochran is an important place for me, and while it’s a place I love, it’s also a place that has represented this “wilderness” I’ve been walking in.
It’s been a place where I’ve walked through a season of necessary spiritual drought.
It was necessary because I had to learn that the good God I’d gotten so far away from is here in the middle of the drought. And I’m still learning that that’s enough. That’s produces a posture of peace that simply was not there before.
There are meadows in the midst of the wilderness that simply cannot be accessed unless we walk through the desert.
God had to take me to the wilderness so I could understand who He really is. And I got to the meadow- the place of peace, better understanding, and stronger faith in Him. In half year, I have grown enormously in my walk with God. I have such a long way to go, but He is ever faithful in pulling me forward.
This is my story- about how God showed and continually shows me that there are meadows to be found in the wilderness.
You just have to leave the city to get there.