My car moves along the road that traces the waterline. My eyes watch the street but notice the brightly-colored, industrial skyline, the joyful clutter of house boats. I recall being a teen and longing for the city life. But as my life unfolded, it seemed this urge was just a silly idea that wouldn't come to pass. And then we moved to Seattle. How did I get here? All the signs pointed to a life in my small hometown. A life that would have been good — but not what I'd desired for so long.
It started with unrest. I had switched from teaching preschool and wrapping up my degree in early childhood education to staying at home with my firstborn affixed to my side. My husband was working a steady job. We had much to be grateful for, but we felt uneasy.
My husband and I both felt it, but we didn't know what to do. We said we'd pray, but prayers then looked more like funky feelings and tired eyes looking heavenward.
Then the stars aligned in the form of a night out with the guys. My husband's best friend was in town from Seattle, and he didn't want to miss the opportunity to catch up.
The next morning with still sleepy eyes we debriefed over caffeine. That's when he shared it: the light-hearted suggestion that was really a green light in disguise. "Too bad you're not looking to relocate," his friend said. "My office is looking for a writer." The position seemed more like a dream than a reality. Keep in mind Seattle was states away, and a place we had never been. And who really gets a job working with their best friend?
It was all very pie-in-the-sky and unlike us, but we decided he should go for it. Apply for this crazy job that he didn't feel prepared for. A job that would uproot us after almost 30 years in the same place. In a town where most people have a baby and settle down, we had a baby and then turned our lives upside down.
Not too long after that, we found ourselves giving away most of our possessions and taking off on a road trip that would lead us to our new home. Equally filled with nerves and adventurous spirits, we set off into a future that was entirely unknown. For two adults who are skeptical planners and over-thinkers, we still find ourselves stunned and delighted that two years ago, we leapt.
These days I still find my breath taken away by the sights of this city we now call home. At times I feel stunned, to think we actually followed what looked like little breadcrumbs that led us here. And faith, this thing we can't exactly explain but sometimes we find ourselves living out. Looking back, sometimes I can see the tiny seeds of longing God plants in our hearts and leaves until it's the right season. I'm growing in my belief that God uses everything to speak to us, we only need to open our eyes and incline our ears.
I wouldn't ever say that things come easy, or that God is just waiting fulfill all our earthly desires. But I will say that as we're living out our days, and looking for the right way to go, sometimes walking in faith looks more like following breadcrumbs than listening to directions via GPS. Following those gentle inclinations, "gut" reactions, has led us here. This place I love, this city I call home. This urban life that keeps me on my toes, inspires my awe, and provokes me to change in the right ways. I'm so glad I'm here.