(Sorry, this post has been a long time coming! Finally here!)
I grew up an Oklahoma Girl. Born and raised. Being born in such a great state meant many things but there are two in particular that I will highlight. First and foremost, I wasn’t just an Oklahoma girl in the sense of the state. No, I was an O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A girl. As in Sooner Born and Sooner Bred. When I die I’m a Sooner Dead. I bleed crimson…and cream. Second, and maybe most importantly, being born in the great state of Oklahoma meant that I automatically had to have disregard for that other real estate just south of the border. You know the one where most of the population struggles with the sin of ‘pride.’ Where they represent themselves with a lone star because they still kind of consider themselves their own country. Yep, growing up an Oklahoman we were automatically anti-Texas. With things like the Red River Rivalry, disdain for the state of Texas was bred deep within me. I would argue with my Texas friends about all the reasons why Oklahoma was better and fully believe everything I was saying. Yep, I grew up an Oklahoma girl. Not a Texan.
Well folks, God works in funny ways. You see, about two months ago I made the decision to step out in obedience, trusting the Lord as He had so clearly asked me to take a risk. Risk not being one of my favorite words. Yet, despite the uncomfortable and vulnerable feelings that flooded in with this request, I could not allow myself to ignore the leadings of the Lord just for the sake of my own selfish security. It just doesn’t work that way. Or at least it shouldn’t! So, I made the tough decision to leave what I’ve know as home since I graduated college and head into a new land. Who would have thought that the new ‘land’ that I’d be entering was none other than that which my upbringing so fiercely typified as ‘that other state.’ The one we don’t like. Yep, God’s sense of humor is so apparent today as I found myself waking up in my new ‘home,’ deep in the state of Texas.
As hard as it was to make such a move, it is good. Why? Because the Lord led it. When making the decision to come, it wasn’t written in the sky or given to me in a vision. No, it was just a simple confidence and peace in the quiet places of my heart. I have found that this is more often how our God speaks, quietly but not in a weak way. The kind of quiet that is strong and undeniable, almost as if He wants to prove that He doesn’t have to shout it from the mountains in order to convince you that it’s Him. After all, He is God and He does not need to prove Himself. So, all that to say, my new zip code indicates that I now reside south of the Red River, a foreign land for this Oklahoma Girl. However, I am reminded of Joshua 1:9 as Joshua is about to lead his people into the Promised Land…a foreign land. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” So, I guess I’ll buy myself a pair of cowboy boots and embrace this foreign land, knowing that He is with me wherever I go!