Arrived… or how Mom helped set all this in motion… or how God put all the pieces together…
I’ve made it! As of today, all of the things in my apartment are packed, locked up in a U-Haul U-Box being picked up, and shipped out and will arrive in the next 10 days. But I’m here. I’ve arrived. I’m in Atlanta!!!
It’s surreal! It’s unreal!
Crossing the Georgia border was an interesting feeling. Crossing state lines in general to relocate was interesting to say the least. Waking up at 5, leaving at 5:15 a.m. and driving down on basically a straight shoot was not as scary or straining as people made it out to be. Safe travels for sure!
But the year or so of wrestling with God in wrenching out an answer to clarify if my motives were/are right, clearing up the desire as something out of a relatively pure place, and then finally with everything timing was working out towards my time table as far as how my lease was up and my desire to not re-up on it, the dead end job of a call center customer support agent with no upward opportunities available, and ultimately through the actions of my own mother who… well, let me start from the beginning.
I’ve wanted nothing more than to stay in Michigan, live there, serve my church there, work there, have a family, and die in Michigan. It’s all I’ve ever known and was content with it. Didn’t seek anything outside of Michigan. And whatever happened in Atlanta, happened and thus, I’m fine with it. On top of my contentedness with being in Michigan, I’ve also been trekking with an organization known as Passion Conferences and more specifically, Passion City Church (the main reason I’m here, to plug into this community and be a part). But I was content with simply cheering them on from where I was at. I was fine with it. I didn’t need to be involved with them. They had my prayers and love and I was okay with not being with them and I really was honestly fine with it. Then November 2015 comes along and Passion’s music team was on tour and my church at the time hosted them as a venue. Then after some interactions with the main leaders and their musicians, random invites to come down were all voiced. At first, it was simply nonsense to me. Like, “Naw, I’m good though it’s tempting!” But the more I helped them, the more I interacted with them, I felt the pull, the leading, the guidance, but also the conflict, the struggle of clarity, the tension of faith like, “Could this really happen? I would love it but… is it right? Am I right? What’s my intention?” and on the thoughts, wrestling, questions, conflicts, tension all bombarded me. But I did know one thing. Yea, I’ll come down!
So the thinking was, wait out the year to land the job I was lined up for (the one I just quit), move out, and do what I can to save up my money, and once I get the funds, move out and move to Atlanta, on my own terms, and do what’s needed to live and function as God will allow.
Don’t think for a moment the struggles weren’t there. I could never save up quite enough. Even scaling back on a lot of so called luxuries like Netflix and media subscriptions. Granted, there was some unwise stuff that occurred like speeding tickets which halted a lot of places (no, I’m not a traffic felon, but some tickets like, who hasn’t!?) On top of the internal struggles, the financial struggles, and such that the dream to move to Atlanta kind of faded and I decided to give up pursuit. I tolerated the idea of living in Michigan, but my heart has slowly been knit towards going to Atlanta, but in the end, it was just a pipe dream and nothing else to do but be okay with not going.
Enter mom… yes, mom.
She hates Michigan weather. It heightens up the chronic body aches and renders her almost bed-ridden in pain. She lived in California for a hot minute but it drained her. She comes back unbeknownst to me and lived in our old house for the last year. It was her that helped me move down to the foodie black hole known as Southgate where I’ve spent the last year struggling, praying, existing, working, lifting, spending, renting, driving, bill paying, and life as a corporate clown working for someone else and not using my skills to do what my heart beats for which is build up young musicians and play for the Church.
So through her own ideas or at least what she perceives are mingled with mine, she made plans a while ago to move to Atlanta. Reason, or at least hers was to help me make my dream of being a part of Passion City Church a reality. So she began the planning and the orchestrating. But obviously not letting me know. I guess she assumed that I wanted to always move down there due to my serious love for Passion Conferences and Passion City Church but she couldn’t have been further from the truth and I have not voiced any desire to move to Atlanta to her until about 1.5 months ago when I visited her on one of my “weekends” to simply visit. She said she put up our old house which sold in two days and was in the midst of the whole appraisal/offer acceptance process and started looking for houses in Atlanta or at least around Atlanta that wasn’t so much in the city limits because… expensive! So she moved. Emptied out our old Michigan home of 20+ years and transplanted herself to a town just outside of Atlanta. During the appraisal/offer process, she tells me she’s made plans to move because she knew I wanted to be there which I literally tell her, “No, I really didn’t want to make the move and if I did, I’ll do it on my own terms.” She’s like, “Well, I’m still going and I still think you do want to go so, come with me!”
I was floored… I didn’t know what to say! My mom literally thought I’ve been wanting to go to Atlanta. She claims she’s been under that premise for the last few years and has been doing what she can to make that work, for me. I’ve had no conversations about Atlanta much less moving to Atlanta with her. And yet she says literally a month ago, “… come with me…”
I had to think about it. I had a relatively cushy job answering phone calls and helping clueless folks get into their app accounts. But at least I could’ve saved up what I would’ve paid in rent and then made the trek but I did not want my mom to help me because she’s done enough. She was okay with helping me with at least the roof over my head. So after spending some time thinking about it, and every door closing for me to be able to stay any longer in Michigan, I took her up on her offer to come down once my lease was up. So, with the wheels spinning, doors to stay in Michigan closing, it was as if God was kicking me out the proverbial door. Opening up the opportunity to go to Georgia and through the vessel of my own mother at that!
So, I countdown the days. Between my final days of work and how it literally worked out in conjunction with my lease period ending, the reality hits like a ton of bricks. And through it all, God was definitely in the background. Working. Moving. Orchestrating. Placing. Planning. Architecting. And ultimately, leading.
So with the 13th of August as my last official day of work which I use the last 8 hours of sick time I have left, play sick, and spend my Sunday relaxing and playing for the Collective one last time. Spend my 14th packing, boxing, taping, packing, cleaning, and ultimately, closing up shop on my apartment.
And now here I am. August 15th, 2017. At roughly 5:15 a.m. I set out. Driving across 5 state lines between Michigan to Georgia. I land within Atlanta city limits around 5:50 p.m. and now I’m sitting typing this blog out at a legit coffee shop that doubles as a motorcycle garage club called Brother Moto. I’ve already deemed this to be one of my favorite ATL spots now.
Next stop, find work. Go to church. Plant and root there. Find a place to live near the city limits so I can be a part of the community. Love the people. Be for God, for people, for the city, and for the world.
That’s the hope!
I’ve arriving… now to begin…