Since my recent move from New Orleans back to Phoenix, I have a sense that I have been strangely reacquainted with the desert. The familiarity of the things I forgot like the smell of the air before it rains, the faded mountains in the distance, and the warped colors of the sky when the sun sets are hitting me in a fresh new sense. Beauty that I would have misplaced has been reintroduced to me and it’s as if I have been given new lenses to view it all.
My initial decision to leave NOLA was incredibly difficult and I didn’t arrive at the decision easily. In fact, I believe God was opening my eyes to the realization that New Orleans had become an idol to me that I didn’t want to hand over to him. Friendships and ministry were rooted deeply and, since we arrived in 2006, we have seen lots of Kingdom fruit growing in the lives of those in our community. It’s a city of people I love in a culture I love and it has changed me more than I have ever impacted it. However, in many ways that I can’t seem to specify, I felt the weight of New Orleans was bearing down on us; squeezing us. Remaining in New Orleans was a battle that I fought for much of the time I was there and I believe this fight was good. It wasn’t until the last year that I believe the “squeezing” was God’s hand and He was revealing to me that it was time to let go.
Our re-entry into Phoenix has surrounded us with many great things: old and new friends, a new church community to serve, and the ability to see our families more often. The rhythms of life are healthier since Emily and I have been able to stand in the family roles that we feel are powerful and appropriate. These are all factors contributing to the reasons that I feel confirmed in our decision to move but there is something else too.
Again, for reasons I can’t fully specify, I have a sense that I am placed exactly where God would like. I feel like a pawn on a chess board who has realized, and revels in the fact that, he was strategically positioned by the player early in the game to take part in the steps that would eventually lead the King to move in for the final move. I don’t know the final move [and I don’t intend to know it] but I do know the Kingdom is moving by the hand of the King and we just need to trust that He is in control and He is good.