Um, yes. Last Saturday, my best friend AJ and I got into my fully loaded Toyota Corolla and drove over 4,000 miles to Portland. Yes, I only took what I could fit in my compact car!
On the way, we took the scenic route, and we saw:
The Grand Canyon (kind of...there's a story there)
The Hoover Dam
The Pacific Coast Highway
Redwood National Park (fantastic!)
I will post soon with more details about the trip. I truly love a good road trip and this was a GREAT one!
We arrived in Portland on Thursday, the 21st, and AJ stayed with me to help me get settled until today.
So far everything has been great. I arrived with absolutely no furniture and as of right now I have a bed, a chair, an end table, some art work, a bathroom rug, and a dresser - all found at thrift stores (except the bed, a church member gave me that)! Portland has amazing thrift stores!
I really like the girls I'm living with and the house is adorable!
I also have a church in Portland that I for sure want to be a part of, so that's nice. The only thing now is to find a job. Of course that's a pretty big priority. No matter how great I think Portland is...if I don't find a job...I won't be here for long.
Do you want to know the truth about this Portland move? I love the city of Portland, but I didn't really, truly want to move here, at least not under the current circumstances. I had plans for my life. Plans that involved Houston and a career and marriage and family and old friends.
As nice as my plans seemed to me, God has been hammering into me for the past 3 years that He has His own plans. (And somehow I was shocked by this).
In November I heard a speaker relay this message: as believers in Christ, we frequently want to make our own plans and then we want to invite (sometimes beg) God to come bless them. We say, "God, come over here and bless MY ideas, MY plans, MY efforts". And then we become frustrated when He doesn't comply with our "good plans".
In reality, God has plans and He's saying to us, "Come over here and BE BLESSED as you are a part of MY plan". And then we don't really like that. We want to be God.
That's why I'm in Portland. Because I'm not God. And because I did my darnedest to get Him to bless my plans...and He just wasn't having it. At some point He wore me down (He always knew He would) and I'm finally at the point of saying, "OK. I give up. Whatever You want".
I felt/feel drawn to Portland. I have no idea why. I do genuinely love this city, so that's a plus, and maybe in God's grace He drew me to a place He knew I would enjoy. But I do not want to be here right now. I don't want to be so far away from my family. From my friends. From everything I've ever known. I don't know anyone up here. It rains a lot. Why am I here?
I've never in my life felt this way. I've never felt so peaceful about being a place and yet so much wanted something else. I still want my way. Not His. I don't want to trust Him for peace, security, and joy. I want to claim those things for myself (although I'm often terribly wrong).
So, anyway, here I am. I yelled at God today that He better show me pretty soon why I'm here. Why He lured me all the way to Oregon. I love it and hate it at the same time, but for maybe the first time in my life - I feel like I'm following Christ in obedience and faith (and I say that very humbly because honestly, He has had to beat the tar out of me (metaphorically speaking) in order to get me to a place where I am (mostly reluctantly) willing to be obedient and try to have faith.
I'm sitting in a coffee shop, using my Mac, and it's pouring rain outside - doesn't that sound like Portland? The shop is about to close though. More fun Portland stories to come...