1. You're crazy.
2. I'm so jealous.
If you lean towards #1, I don't have much of a response. You're right.
But let me address #2 for a moment. If you've ever thought to yourself, "Man, I wish I could do that!" you're in luck, because you can. As the saying goes, you are not a tree. You can, like us, leave anytime you want.
Contrary to popular opinion, the single most important factor in leaving is not money. Or connections. Or stability of any kind. I have traveled on the cheapest cheap, sometimes without a clue as to how I would afford food. I have traveled as a young, single woman. I've left behind numerous opportunities, comforts, and people I love. All of these factors can be scary, and it can take time to find a way around them, but they don't actually matter in the big scheme of things.
So what does matter? In my experience, only one thing: Obedience to the call of God in your life.
I'm not being cute with you. That's really it. If you have a passion to go somewhere—no matter what your relationship with God currently looks like—I can almost guarantee that it is God's idea (not just yours) to get you there. He's a good guy. He puts good desires in our hearts, and He wants to see us thrive. It might not be right now, and it might not be the way you imagine, but God will see you through to the very end of your adventure.
God also promises that He has a plan for us. I know a lot of people who don't want to leave because they're afraid they won't be able to jump back into their career/life plans. Honestly, the thought scares me too. What will companies think about me hanging around Eastern Europe, cooking for my husband for two years? When I graduated college, I was ready to jump into a career. Now, I might be behind my peers. Despite this real concern, I know that God's plan far exceeds mine. I'm living out a dream that I didn't think I'd get to until my forties or fifties—writing and living abroad. Even though I left behind a lot of stability, I would always pick this path over staying. It's been incredible, and I've grown more than I ever would have if I'd stayed in my comfort zone.
It's possible that God isn't calling you to leave. He might be calling you to stay (even scarier than leaving sometimes). He might be calling you to give something away, to take the job, to break the bad habit, to walk across the room and say, "Hi." God's callings are almost always scary and challenging, but they are worth it.
It won't be easy. It won't be like vacation. It won't solve all your problems. You'll probably have a few meltdowns. You'll get sick and tired, and you'll want to give up. But you will be upheld by a Mighty God, and he will give you the most extraordinary story to live out.
I encourage all of you, from the bottom of my heart, to take it. I did, and it has made all the difference.
Love and courage to you all,
Liz (and Sam)
Want to continue this conversation? Contact us. Seriously.
As always, support can be sent to
Sam & Elizabeth Steere
3601 Ginger Creek Dr.
Springfield, IL 62711