Atlanta City Limits

by theashruiz

This weekend I moved to Atlanta. Texas to Georgia, it was quite a move. I left my family and a pretty decent job. I left my comfort and security. I left my friends. My fiance is still long distance [although, significantly closer than before]. I left home.

Over the last few days I’m gathering together the idea that home is a state of being rather than a home state. Texas is my home state and my roots and country music tell me that I should feel home in cowboy boots, a lifted truck, and open fields. And I do, to an extent. But I feel more at home and centered in a dimly lit coffee shop with my headphones filled with raw, indy-sounding worship and spoken word artists of a hip-hop derivative. Clothed in a flannel, leggings, Toms, messy bun, and RayBans. I repeat that I dressed this way before the “hipster movement” began, but the statement alone is ironic and paradoxical. Yes, these glasses are prescription; yes, I do wear leggings as pants; yes, this is a men’s flannel; and yes, I have spent this entire day in a coffee shop.

But the move– I moved to help with a church plant. I moved because I’m 100% behind this vision [for more information you can check out]. I moved because God gave me the green light to come here. When I said yes to a position with the church, I was confident. Assured, I declare that I would have no fear in moving. God will provide the needs, He’ll make a way. That was almost a year ago. This weekend, things looked a little different.

I moved without a job secured. Money and provision has always been one of the things I struggle with most in my faith. I’m self-sufficient, and have no chill if I don’t have a reliable income flowing into my bank account. The last month was filled with multiple anxiety attacks, and my fiance putting his foot down and telling me I need to go into the secret place and not leave until I hear God speak and peace flows. I did that. Later he asked me what God said. I told him, “All He said was, ‘have I not been faithful? Am I not faithful? Will I not continue to be faithful?'”. In the name of honesty and transparency, that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to hear, “I have a well-paying job for you in Atlanta that’ll be perfect for your schedule,” and that’s not what I got.

On the trip here, I got little glimpses of what my time here would look like. It looks like stepping back into ministry. It looks like me learning what it’s like to walk in humility. It looks like me spending more time in the secret place with Him. It looks like stepping into the fullness of a missional lifestyle. It looks like me learning from others, in the context of community. It looks like me writing [a lot]. It looks like me learning how to trust His faithfulness, trust that He is faithful in all things.

On the trip here, I told Jordan [my fiance], “I really feel like I’m going to have a job there that is completely unexpected. Like something that I never even thought to look into. Something where I’m going to have a lot of free time. I’m going to write a lot in my free time. God has been pulling me to write for quite awhile, and I feel like it’s really happening now.

On the trip here, I thought that I’d fully dive into finding a job, making it a top priority. But I keep feeling a pull to take a step back for a little while. And there’s peace. Not in laziness, anyone who knows me, knows that when it comes to working, I’m anything but lazy. There’s peace in stepping back. I hear Him saying, “hold on, not yet”. There’s peace in the obedience to our Father. There’s peace in knowing that He is good. There’s peace in knowing that He doesn’t lead me anywhere that He’s not going. Maybe it’s halfway about obedience, and the other half is just because He is worthy.

In the meantime, I feel like I’m in a limbo state. Life feels fuzzy. I’m somewhere between Texas and Georgia, somewhere between familiar and new, somewhere between there and here, somewhere between comfortable and uncomfortable. I took the step away from comfortable, but haven’t planted my foot in uncomfortable. I haven’t unpacked yet, because unpacking means it’s real. But I have to learn how to be here. ‘Here’ is anywhere really. I have a bad habit of my life being in one place and my head being somewhere else. I want to be here.

Today I took a drive. I drove around the Atlanta suburbs, exploring my new city. There’s a lot of hills. I ended up in a bad part of town when I decided to turn around. I decided to head home when it hit me that I should find a coffee shop. I wanted to write. I like writing. Writing keeps me centered. I have this complex where I don’t drink coffee in any capacity, but it’s necessary for me to know where all the good coffee shops are. I found a coffee shop. The tea was good. It’s dimly lit, cute, spacious, the barista is peppy, the atmosphere is calm. I like it. I feel at home in coffee shops. I found a coffee shop. And I’m ready to be here. I’m ready to make this home.