I just read a fabulous post by Ashley W that reminds me of my own story of when God "told me to."
At some point during my senior year in college, I had decided that I wasn't going to live on the east coast after I graduated. I had grown up in New Jersey, had visited many relatives in Baltimore and in Washington DC, and had spent summer vacations in New England. I didn't feel much desire to do more of what I had already done.
I quickly eliminated living in the southeast (hurricanes), or the west (earthquakes), or the south (heat and humidity). Then I realized that nearly all of my good friends from college were from the midwestern part of the U.S. and THAT seemed worthwhile to pay attention to!
During that last year of college, I made plans to spend my breaks visiting parts of the midwest where my college friends were from, including Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio as well as Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
But there was something else that was significant about my college years: Canada geese.
You see, I grew up in a very suburban area outside of New York City. The geese that I saw in my childhood were geese that I fed at a pond in New England during summer vacations. They were quiet geese, mostly white, and I certainly never saw them fly in a V.
But at college, there was the type of pond and semi-rural campus that attracted Canada geese, and the campus was part of a fly-zone during migrations. Every time I heard the honks of geese, I would interrupt my walk to class and look into the sky to see where the honks were coming from. Day after day, I'd spy the wedges of geese and stop and listen to them as they flew by.
Something about these Canada geese was calling to me, but what....?
Fast forward to my visits to friends in the midwest during my senior year. In October, I traveled to Milwaukee to see Linda, my closest college buddy, who had already been out of school for a while. While there in the city, wouldn't you know it, a flock of geese flew overhead and I was practically sold on relocating then and there.
But I had at least another semester to get through, so shortly after seeing Linda, I wrote her a letter that said, in part:
"I'm beginning to think about where I want to be after I graduate, and I'm thinking about moving to the midwest. I don't know what your plans are for the next year, but I might be in the area, looking for a roommate..."It turns out that Linda was also writing me a letter at about the same time:
"I just found out that my folks are leaving Milwaukee to move to Indiana. I'll be staying in Wisconsin, and even though I don't know what your plans are when you graduate, if you need a place to live and want to come to Milwaukee, I'll be looking for a roommate..."
And the letters literally crossed in the mail.
So when people find out that I grew up on the east coast but have been living in the midwest since 1985, they often ask me, "Why'd you move to the midwest?" And I tell them:
God brought me here.
I've never looked back and God is still speaking to me, even here.