I’ve lived in Nashville for an entire 365 days, and I officially say “y’all” more than “you guys.”
I can’t quite believe I packed my bags, left New York City, and bought a one-way ticket to Nashville, Tennessee, just over one year ago. That simultaneously feels like yesterday and yet also feels like a lifetime ago. I miss many things about New York City. I miss my community there (although many of those friends have now left the city and scattered throughout the country). I miss my ability to walk everywhere and do almost anything at a moment’s notice. I miss the hustle and bustle, the fast pace, the city that never sleeps. I miss the art, culture, and fashion everywhere you turn. I miss the street bagels and falafel. I miss calling myself a New Yorker.
But I don’t for one second regret leaving New York City.
I knew in my heart that God called me to Nashville. It was that simple and that complex.
He brought me here for a whole bunch of reasons, including living in the same city as the man I love and beginning a job in full-time ministry. The Lord brought me here, and He’s shown up for me time and time again. I’ve grown more in the past year than the previous years combined. I’m learning what it looks like to really walk with Jesus on a daily basis, to share truth with others, and to let my faith be the rhythm of my life.
In this time, God has revealed to me the sin that’s still within me. The deep desires for control, approval, and pride. He’s shown me I still have work to do when it comes to my own healing and recovery—but that He is faithful to finish the good work He began in me.
He’s helped me see the value of rest and of stillness. That while my type-A, perfectionist personality loves to be on the go at all times, often the best place to hear from God is in the quiet. Sometimes I need to get alone with Him and sit in the solitude.
This is the first time in my life I’ve lived alone. The extrovert in me wants people around who I can continually talk and hang out with. But I also relish the way this space is my own, the way I can connect with God however I want. I love that it provides rest.
I’ve rested more in this past year than I have in a very long time. I’ve traded the crazy city life, the gym, and hot yoga for walking in wide open spaces and practicing yoga at home. I’m working on a restored relationship with both food and exercise, so abandoning the high intensity sweat sesh is what I need right now. I’m learning to move in a way that feels good, to eat what’s enjoyable, and to appreciate my body the way God designed it. It’s been a long road for me, but the support God has provided here in Nashville has helped me so much.
This summer a friend of mine from New York also made the move to Nashville. She asked me if my stress level decreased since moving. I immediately and emphatically answered heck yes.
Living stress-free is still totally possible in New York City. It takes a lot of intention and discipline, but it can happen. Yet I now know for me personally, for my optimal health and wellbeing, I needed to step away.
Since moving to Nashville, God has shown me the joy of dating His way. He had to end some previous relationships in order to teach me and show me that something way better was just around the corner. He was preparing my heart while preparing my now-boyfriend’s heart. We’ve both seen firsthand how the love of a significant other is a representation of the Gospel. It’s an amazing thing, and if I had not moved to Nashville, if I had not given this man a chance while living and dating in the same city, I don’t know when I would have learned that lesson. And I would have missed out on this great love.
Most of all, in the past year, the Lord has reminded me that I am made in His image.
I am called to live a holy life. It’s clear the Lord purposely plucked me out of my comfort zone of NYC to do some deep work in my mind, body, and spirit. He has a plan for all of this, and it’s a lot bigger than anything I could plot out on my own.
So wherever you’re at right now—whatever emotion you’re feeling, whatever hopes you’re hoping for and whatever dreams you’re banking on—tell them to God. If you don’t feel like you have a relationship with Him, then ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He’ll show up and rock your word.
I know not everyone has a story of reckless faith or radical salvation. Not everyone has the story they thought they would have. It’s okay.
I am right there with you. I could not and would not have written my story this way. But I honestly wouldn’t change it. I’m convinced that God has authored my life like this because He’s using it for His glory. As Christians, He doesn’t call us to a life of happiness. He calls us to a life of holiness and sanctification. Sometimes that means wading through some really rough waters. But He is still good, and He is still faithful.
I have lofty dreams for this blog and for my ministry. I have a feeling He has even bigger things in store over the next 12 months, and I’m excited to watch Him work. I am privileged to get to write in this space and share what I’m learning with each of you on a regular basis. I love this little blog—it means so much you’ve stuck with me through all the transitions and changes. Thank you for showing up.
Here’s to another year!
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.