i've always had a gypsy soul that remains restless wherever i am at. always restless to leave and find somewhere that i have never been.

i long to go to new places and meet new faces and hear new stories and then, once the the people at those new places start knowing how i like my coffee and the punch line to all my jokes, and once the faces grow familiar and i know the way they wrinkle their nose when they laugh or pout a little bit when they don't get their way, and once i have heard all the stories over and over (and over and over) my heart begins to long for somewhere different, somewhere to start over.

and this longing for the new has translated into my college experience. i spent a semester at a school in virginia, but i was restless. so i came home for a semester to do classes online... but then i grew restless. so i came to boone and after a semester i was filling out applications for schools in the midwest---even for the school in virginia again!---because boone was great, but now i wanted something different.

the optimist might call this an adventurous spirit.

the psychologist might say i have a fear of commitment.

but the lord is calling it sin.

i don't want to sound too harsh because sometimes, for some people, change is what the lord is calling them to do, but they don't because they're comfortable or they are thriving where they are at or they're scared. and for some not changing is the sin. in my life i know this. the lord has many a time nudged me to step out of my comfort zone and glorify him in a way that is different than what i am doing and i have turned my stubborn head the other way because i like what i am doing and it is going just fine and this works for me, thank you very much. so let me be clear : not changing when you are called to do so is wrong. but so is changing when you are called to stay put.

because for me, all this change came from a discontent spirit, a fearful spirit, a spirit searching for desires to be fulfilled in excitement, adventure, newness instead of my maker.

there is a desire in my generation to always go new places and do exciting things. movement is our name and we feast on the unique and crazy and awesome. we climb a mountain and on the way back down start talking of our next trek, because it's always about what's next (and is this really our generation's heart or just humanity's?) and we can never simply rest because rest is for the old and the fragile and the weak. we are the young and the free and the movers and the shakers and the ones with dreams who can never sit still, watching their life "pass them by."

and i have a thousand pictures of all the places i have been, and i've had a thousand coffee dates hearing stories and learning a person's heart, and i've moved to so many places, tried so many different things, but then i look and wonder how will i be able to truly invest in a life if i am too busy moving to the next place? how will i be able to love a person at their worst and their best if i never give them time to show me both sides?

staying scares me. it means we move past the stories that are cool to the awkward silences or the ugly stuff that we don't like talking about or we start hearing stories we've heard before. staying takes courage that i don't have. because i can give you a good first impression but when you see me day after day and you start to see my faults and hear my faults and know my faults? that's terrifying. and when i start finding out that you are not so perfect and i have to depend upon the lord to move grace from my heart to yours, when i have to ask the lord to give me forgiveness to give to you? that's hard.

staying means you have to sit your pride aside and wade into the waters of vulnerability. staying means you have to shift your arms from reaching for the next thing to reaching out to hold someone who has wronged you. staying means a commitment in the good and the bad times, when your friendship is strong and when your friendship is weak and it would be easier to just slowly move out of that person's life. staying means you must stop your feet from moving and just remain steadfast where they are at. staying means cultivating a heart of contentment. and contentment is something us humans are not so great at.

here is the thing : i can spend my whole life uprooting until i find that one place that satisfies me, that one place where all the people are great all the time and we never hit any lulls, never get bored, never get hurt. but if i do that i will forever be uprooting. i will never find that place. not until i'm standing before my maker and floored at his greatness.

so i will stay here for now. i will remain rooted in this soil because this is where i am called to be planted. and when the time comes that god whispers, "okay, let's do something different" i pray i go and find the next place i am meant to be rooted. investing in a community is one of the most difficult, and perhaps most fulfilling, steps we can take on this earth.

to borrow the words of t.b. laberge, investing in a community is beautiful and terrifying and hard because "what an honor, and an adventure it is to get to know you."

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