At the beginning of the summer, some time in May, I left a coffee shop on the north side of town and drove to the river. I’d been sitting in the coffee shop for over three hours, hashing through my latest existential crisis with one of my mentors who listened patiently while I painfully over-analyzed every detail of my Decision. I told her to give me her opinion. She declined and helped me come to the choice on my own.
Mid-way through our conversation, a random man sitting next to us leaned over and said, “Sorry for interrupting, but you should take the job. Move to Georgia. You’re young. It’ll work out.” I just about cried when he said that. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because he was the umpteenth person to give that advice and yet, there I sat in my overwhelming uncertainty.
So I left the coffee shop and drove to the river. At first, I just started driving without any particular plan. I took the highway out of the city, a habitual route for me, but this time I kept driving until I found myself by the water’s edge at my favorite public access point. Out of the city, by the river, alone: my perfect place.
It was really rainy this spring, as in all-of-south-Texas-was-basically-under-water-for-weeks-because-of-record-setting-floods, and so the river was unusually full. The water was a murky brown color, and it was rushing along with intimidating speed.
I sat on the rocks at the swollen river’s edge. There was this sort of loud silence in the air.
I’ve found myself in a moment like this so many times in the last four years. It’s true that I’m probably over-analytical and dramatically disillusioned about the weight of my decisions. I panic and convince myself that my choice will absolutely change the trajectory of my life and if I screw it up, I’ll be irreversibly doomed, forever. I’m sure my friends are getting sick of these quarterly crises of mine.
But this decision really did feel that heavy, I swear.
So I sat on the rocks by the loud river in the humid air and I asked God to tell me what I should decide.
He also declined to give me a straight answer. He seemed to say something like, “Choose whichever you want, I’ll bless both paths, blah blah blah.” I found myself frustrated at the freedom God was giving me.
Either option had God’s promise of blessing, though the blessings themselves weren’t the same. Perhaps this is what tangled my feet from moving forward with confidence.
The longer I sat by the river and listened to the rushing waters buzz, I began to hear the Spirit whisper to me one simple word: abundance.
I rolled that word over in my palms like a smooth stone. Abundance.
There at the edge of the water, the Lord told me that he would legitimately bless either choice I made. He offered the Georgia Option as a much-needed and often-asked-for Way Out and he would completely understand if that’s what I chose. But the other option, the unexpected and more ambiguous of the two, would also offer a blessing.
And the Spirit told me that if I took the Other Option, I would enter into a season of abundance.
What kind of abundance? What exactly does that look like? When will it start and how long will it last? How does it compare to the blessings of the Georgia Option?
The Lord would not say too much. He seemed to say only that if I chose the Other Option there would be, in some way, abundance. Its size and shape and length could not be disclosed because that wouldn’t require very much faith, now would it?
It was three months ago that I sat at the river. A lot has happened since then and yet, in many ways, so much is the same.
Last week I sat with that same mentor at a different coffee shop on a different side of town and I told her about the last three months – about the things that have changed a lot, and those that haven’t changed at all. I shared about how the last three months have been marked with color and joy and late nights and sunshine and mountaintops and travel and friendships and dance and freedom and peacefulness.
But I also admitted that I am hesitant to hope that this Abundance won’t expire soon. With the summer fading out and the fall blowing in, could this mean that the rushing waters are drying up?
She seemed to understand my hesitation and worry, but then she looked to me and said, “I see no sign of the abundance ending. I think seeds have been planted, but they’ve yet to produce all their fruit. More abundance is on its way.”
And so, with courage and hope (and admittedly a slight sense of reluctance), that’s the cadence I’m marching to as I walk forward into the few months:
More abundance is on its way.