Two years in Nashville. I knew without a doubt in 2016 when I bought a one-way ticket from New York, New York, to Nashville, Tennessee, that God called me to Nashville. I had been praying about a move away from New York for a while, but I wasn’t sure what that looked like in reality. Leave it to God to make His will abundantly clear in ways I never expected. He plucked me out of the hustle and bustle of The Big Apple and planted me firmly in the suburbs of Nashville, with a job in full-time ministry.
God took me—a Chicago native, journalism school grad, and NYC magazine editor—and called me to Himself. He used my struggles with an eating disorder to reveal more of Himself to me and to push me toward ultimate, glorious surrender. And you know what? He didn’t stop there. He moved me down south and gave me a ministry job with one of the most incredible church families I’ve ever seen.
Friends, the Lord does big things all around us every day. We had only open our eyes to them.
I never thought Nashville would be home, but here we are two years in and I feel at peace here. There are things I miss about New York, sure. And, of course, I miss my family back in Chicago. Yet at the same time, I sense God doing big things here in me, in my marriage, in my ministry. He’s at work, and He keeps showing me more and more glimpses of Himself.
Moving to Nashville has helped me see the value of rest. I’m talking true unplugged, soul-renewing rest. Easier said than done, but the theme of rest is a constant one in my life. It often means going against what we hear in our culture. To really rest, I have to disconnect from social media and set aside rules about what I “should” be doing.
Do you ever feel that way, too? In the past two years, God has continually reminded me that what I need is Him. That’s what we all need. Not a new house, a better job, more money, or to finally meet that significant other. When we let our soul rest in Him and Him alone, life finally starts to make sense.
I listened to a sermon from The Village Church today, and Pastor Matt Chandler shared this C.S. Lewis quote:
That’s exactly what I feel God’s been teaching me in these 24 months of living in Nashville. Without Jesus, this life means nothing. We were made by Him to live our lives for Him.
Charles and I got married this year—but marriage doesn’t fully satisfy. We moved into a bigger apartment in a better location—but this earthly home doesn’t satisfy. I started a new job at a startup in a role I knew God wanted me to step into—but my career doesn’t satisfy. These things are good things and total blessings. I don’t take them for granted. The truth of the Gospel helps me keep them in their rightful place, well below a relationship with Our Father—the only One who ever truly satisfies.
I’ll continue praying about this for as long as I live in Nashville and as long as I live. Lord, fix my eyes on You and give me that kind of soul-satisfying contentment that only You can.
If you ever doubt where you are in life, feel like you’re falling behind or like you just can’t seem to get it together, know that He already has it together, and He accepts you exactly as you are. He’s got this, my friend. Follow His call, and I promise you the rest will follow.
If you want to talk more about Jesus Christ and faith and what-the-heck-is-all-this-stuff, shoot me a message. I love meeting new people, whether virtually or in person, and gabbing about life.
And if you'd like to know more of my story, you can read my testimony here.
Truly, He makes beautiful things.