Saying Yes and Moving West!
There I was, in my little red Suzuki, packed full with 19 years of learning, mistakes, growth, challenges, victory, and now, excitement for this next season that the Lord had called me to. With my mom in the front seat, we left what had been my whole life and headed west to Oakhurst, California. While we were driving out of Dallas, Texas, I was thinking of all the life that had happened there–so many firsts: my first time at the big ol' Texas State Fair (not to mention the first time trying fried...well, fried everything ha), my first day of middle school followed by many awkward years, my first goal in competitive soccer, first mission trip, first day of high school, first time leading worship, first breakup, first tattoo (thanks, Mom), first time I began to intimately know our Lord, first (and last) high school graduation, and now, first time moving away from home. If I could have seen out the rear window, I would have had one of those dramatic "look out the back window and recap all the good memories that happened there as a tear streams down my face" moments. Instead, I looked at my mom and couldn't believe that any of this was happening. There I was embarking on a new journey with so many unknowns but still knowing one thing: that the Lord had called me to staff with YWAM Yosemite and that meant leaving my comfy, little life in Texas. After many hours spent in my car, camping The Grand Canyon, visiting Sedona, Arizona, and lots of snack food and coffee, we finally made it to my new, cute little mountain-town home in Oakhurst. It felt unreal that after months of prayer and waiting on the Lord, I was finally here! The next few days were spent moving me in, finally getting to see Yosemite for the first time, and trying to wrap my head around the idea that this was my new home. With the help of my awesome roommate and the rest of the staff here, I felt like part of a family right from the start. Since it was Mother's Day weekend, two other staff member's moms were in town also. Go moms!!! The three of us got to see how we all are just mini-copies of our moms, which was pretty funny and equally awesome. They blessed us so much by being here for the weekend, not to mention the fully stocked fridge–aha! We love you moms! The last night my mom stayed, we went up to Glacier Point in Yosemite with Chloe (my roommate) and her mom. We brought hot cocoa, blankets, and lots of layers to watch the sun set over Half Dome, and man, was it beautiful. I couldn't help but be speechless at how beautiful our God is and what a gift it was to admire Him in that way. What an act of worship it is to enjoy what He created!
As I drove back to Oakhurst from dropping my mom off at the airport the next day, the only prayer I had in me to give the Father was "Thank You". I was otherwise speechless to remember that a daughter like me, who was once broken, in bondage, lost, insecure, and enslaved, has been freed. Galatians 5:1 says, "For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery". On that drive home, I was overwhelmed by His goodness towards me, towards all of us, that His heart is to set us free, just as Galatians 5:1 says; that He desires our worship, that he wants to see His children dancing in joy for Him, and to see His children come home into His arms. While I pulled into my driveway and walked into my new house all alone, I felt the Lord just holding me, saying "Shea, this is your home. This is where I have called you". In that moment I felt free–I saw the chains being broken off again, and myself as the free child He desires us all to be. Thank you Father, thank You for the freedom You gifted us on the cross, thank You for pursuing us even when we turn our back.
So here I am, a few days later in my new office, a new staff member of YWAM Yosemite, overwhelmed by His goodness and faithfulness through it all. I'm so excited to be a part of this family here and so excited to see what the Lord has for this new season.
What would it take to believe that you really can be free? For freedom you have been set free, what a gift! Have an amazing week relishing that thought.