Lessons in the Wilderness
Six months ago I made a big transition from living in one of Americas largest cities to living in a much smaller city. I felt God lead me into a beautiful wilderness where He had a future and vision for my family. Some life altering circumstances hastened this transition. Like a life changing diagnosis and surgery and personally devastating situation. So I left my two bedroom two story townhome that was a mere five minutes from my place of work. I left a career, a management position, and lifestyle of convenience behind me. Sometimes I wonder what the heck was I thinking but mostly I remember that I couldn't ignore that still small voice inside me even if it all seemed crazy. Even now as I face an uncertain future I know the most foolish move I could make is to ignore God's voice.
When you go from being a big city girl to a small town girl you start to notice a few things.
Leaving the house isn't as easy as it used to be. With the nearest "stores" ( by stores I mean very limited selection) being a half hour away it is much less tempting to go shopping. Two things become much more important- Gas and food. In the middle of nowhere if your car brakes down there is no one to help you. So you start to pay better attention to the fuel meter. Roads flood with heavy rain, what you have in your pantry may have to hold you over for quite some time. The cost of living is higher. Jobs without a commute are scarce, and wages are not competitive like they are in a big city.
Smaller towns in the country are attractive to older folks retiring. Housing is nearly double what it is in a major city. How could there be any benefit in moving from a major city to a smaller city out in the wilderness? Here's a few things I'm learning.
One of the lessons I have learned in this beautiful wilderness is choosing to be happier with less.
With a higher cost of living and lower wages there is not a lot of room for being frivolous. With the nearest major city being an hour or further away there are less places and ways to waste time and money. I am learning that with less distractions available too me I have become more available.
I do not yet understand the grand scheme behind this but I believe this was part of Gods plan in moving me here. With a reduced income and increased living expenses you learn to be more resourceful. My family has started making our own laundry detergent, coffee creamer, and household cleaners, as well as starting a compost. There is a special kind of joy that comes when you make something with your own two hands that I believe modern conveniences cannot replace. When you're commuting everyday and working hard at being resourceful you enjoy being home that much more.
Living out here in the country I am learning to embrace a simple lifestyle.
I wouldn't trade that for all the conveniences I left behind me.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Target as much as the next girl. I make a trip to a major city at least every other week for things I can only get from certain stores. But the lust for stuff and the pull of consumerism has severely lessened. I feel like now I want things that are better rather than just wanting more. I realize this lifestyle and transition isn't for everybody. Since I was 17 years old I have felt called to live a simple life. My limited understanding of this concept at the time was having less clutter in my life to give God more room to move, spending less on myself so I could give more to others, and revolving my life around a few important things instead of giving myself to everything.
Little did I know it would one day mean leaving the city I lived in my whole life to move to a small town. I do not know how everything will work out. I still do not have my own home, I am still not doing my dream job yet, most of my life remains in boxes. In the wilderness I am learning to trust.
Life has put me in a severely weakened state and I look to God to help me fight for this Life I am lead to live. My desire is to live a life of loving, creating, giving, and simplicity. In His sovereignty God knows that will happen better where I am now than where I was, despite all the obstacles.
God doesn't always lead us into a physical wilderness, it can also be emotional or spiritual.
Wherever God leads you may you know He is a Faithful Leader and a Good Father.