Whatever you imagine your life is going to be like, know your life is not going to be anything like it.*
My plan was New York.
That’s the place of my origins. My parents met and married there. Now, my brother’s there and I wanted to join him too.
I was restless for New York. I blogged about it (read here). I watched movies like Frances Ha and TV shows like How to Make it in America, being spoon-fed this dream of living in a flat above a Chinese restaurant and spending my weekends at open-mike events in tiny, hipster bars. It would have been glamorously unglamorous. My boyfriend would also get a job in New York and move there too. We wouldn’t need driver’s licenses, just an adventurous spirit on a Friday night in the Village.
So I worked toward that goal and applied to hundreds of jobs in the city. I researched for apartments on Craigslist, emailed potential roommates, and continued to work three jobs and live at home.
But then I found one job, one position posted online, in Florida. Not in Miami or any other “trendy” city. Just an Orlando suburb. The thing that struck me was that it was a Christian organization. Not only that, but the leading charismatic-Christian media organization in the world. And they were looking for a publicist.
Of course, which organization actually reached out to hire me? Not the bucket-loads of places that I applied to in my dream city but the one company far from it.
An experience as unexpected as this has happened to me before. In the summer after I graduated from high school, I was all set to go to college in upstate New York. I had my timetable, I had my roommate, I had my credits sorted out – and then, not more than a month before classes began, I was offered enrollment at a college in England. What I had pictured my college experience to be took one tarmac-burning 180 degree turn.
In one sense, I’m enjoying the thrill of it. I never quite know where God will place me.
But sometimes, I don’t always feel happy about it. At work, I’m surrounded by stories of Christians who are so in tune to God that they have insight to His plans for them. Sometimes, it’s not even an understanding of where their next job will land them. It can simply be a sense of what God wants them to do in this next chapter of their life. That sort of intuition amazes me but also makes me feel envious.
How straight-forward it would have been if I had even the shadow of an understanding of why God placed me in England instead of upstate New York for college, or Florida instead of New York City for work, or, gosh, America instead of England for, maybe, life.
Every time I’m in a new place, I ask God why? Until learning about Pentecostal Christians, it never occurred to me that it was possible for God to even answer that question. Now, I feel rather left in the dark.
But then I think, maybe God won’t speak to me in the same way that He has spoken to others. Maybe God’s way of telling me that I’m where I’m supposed to be is when I get to make dinner for my grandmother after work. (Previously to moving here, I only got to see her once every one or two years.)
Maybe it’s when I’m with friends (that I somehow miraculously made within the past three weeks) and we’re sharing experiences and laughing over our similarities and differences. Maybe it’s when I’m joking with my aunts on the back patio, basking in Florida’s February air.
There has been moments – and maybe I’m just being emotional – but there are moment, nonetheless, when I might perhaps feel a slight inkling that, call me overly-spiritual, might represent God’s voice expressing that maybe, just maybe, I’m where I’m supposed to be.
*Quote from 21 Century Women