I’ve often felt like I’m in a movie. Maybe that’s my main character energy, but it’s true. And I’m not talking about a glamorous movie. I’m talking the kind of movie where the girl keeps hitting bumps in the road, obstacle after obstacle, painful to watch heartbreaks, bad choices, and tons of character development. Still there’s one thing that I have believed about my life, much like the plot of “Look Both Ways,” is that no matter what obstacles I face – I’m right where I’m supposed to be and I’m okay.
There were times in my life that I made choices that I thought would change the entire trajectory of my life. That whatever was out there was going to be forfeited because I said yes to one thing over another. I believed that I would forever live with the fear of missing out. And there were indeed things that I missed out on. But the truth of the matter was that I was right where I needed to be.
I honestly don’t think that my life would be much different had I chosen a different path. My baby girl is the joy of my life and ministry is my calling. Both are the source of so much good in me. I rarely ever think about what my life would be like without my baby or outside of ministry. And without either, I believe life’s challenges would have still found their way to my doorstep. What I’m trying to say and what I hope you’re understanding is this, whether you look left or go right, you are right where you need to be and you’re gonna be okay. God’s hand is on you and God’s presence is with you.
Many of you know that I recently moved to Atlanta and started a new ministry position. We left a lot of things behind and said our goodbyes. I wrote my resignation letter, packed up our house, said more goodbyes, and we drove off into the sunset – more like the rain and into the night, but who’s fact checking? Since then we have moved into our new apartment, started work and school, begun building relationships, and resumed our random adventures to Target. It’s been a rough few months though. There have been tears and sobbing and random laughs and big hugs. We have traversed this new terrain with wide eyes and slightly broken yet open hearts. The sudden unexppected death of our aunt Blair rocked our world…sent us into a grief we were not aware we could feel. We carry that grief with us as we build a new life here.
Through all of the change and the newness that moving to another state brings, I feel like I am on the precipice of being a new woman, and yet already familiar with who this new woman will be. It’s like a special peace has covered me and that peace lets me know that I would have gotten here regardless of which road I would have taken. That all is well even if it feels overwhelming, scary, but still so exciting. Through the work of the Spirit in my life, I’ve decided that I’m supposed to be here, doing what I’m doing, learning, leading, and growing. In no way do I feel like I have arrived, but I do feel settled in the unsettledness (Is that a word? Unsettledness…). The pieces are still coming together, and some days are harder than others, but there’s more good on the horizon. More peace, more joy, more character development. I’m right where I’m supposed to be and I’m okay. We’re okay.
It’s not easy to do what we’ve done and yet people pick up and leave their homes to start new lives in exciting places everyday. The work of building a new life is hard, however the rewards are endless. The tenacity you find in yourself, the resilience, the grit…they all show up to the party ready to make this thing work. Adversity unlocks your true character. Maybe you’re wondering, “What adversity are you facing Jasmine? It’s just a move and a new job!” Moving, starting a new job, losing a loved one, starting a new school, leaving people behind all cause unprecedented levels of stress. Some are good stressors and others are negative stressors. We’ve done all of those in the past month. I’ve felt withdrawn and desperate for company multiple times a day. We’ve cried and cried laughing. But nothing deters me from this reminder: We are right where we are supposed to be and we are okay.
The Spirit is at work in all things. I hope that you can look back over the movie of your life and see that God had your back all along. That God held your hand. That you were loved. That you are right where you’re supposed to be. That you are okay. That you are loved.
With Gratitude for all of the places we’ve been and our lives ahead of us,
Psalm 139:7-14 NKJV
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.