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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

California

I have reached the weirdest point in my journey. When I look at New Jersey versus California, it is all about where I can best die for Him. Live by dying. Die by living. However, you want to say it. Today the cards were definitely in favor of moving to California. Over the last year, no matter what the option at hand was, the scenario of my life has pretty much been this: If the Holy Spirit gave me permission to pursue it, man closed the door. If the Holy Spirit didn’t give me permission to pursue it, well, then I don’t know what man always did because I didn’t check. But sometimes it was an offer that God told me to turn down.

California is the only option that has been available to me in a long time that the Holy Spirit isn’t saying no too. But that doesn’t mean I am running eagerly toward it. I proceed with great sorrow. I know it will totally be worth serving my grandparents as they reach the closing stage of their life. I know getting to watch them finish their journey will be amazing. I know they go to a good church that is invested in bringing Christ to their community. But I also know it means I will have to leave New Jersey.

For years I have prayed that I would get to stay in New Jersey for a few decades. I love this place. I love these people. For one week less than five years, I have laid down my life for His kingdom here. I didn’t just pass time as I pursued a career. I didn’t live for my own pleasure. I eagerly gave up my life for Him to the best of my ability. I held nothing back. I completed the task. I finished the work. I left nothing that I knew to do undone. Apparently I am free to go.

I don’t want to go, but I dare not stay in a place He no longer has a mission for me to do. Today I finished my initial overview of the Gospel of John. This means I read about Jesus asking Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” I must love Jesus more than I love New Jersey and my church here. I MUST follow His call. Nonetheless about 50% of the day I had tears sliding down my cheeks no matter whether I was actually “crying”. I can’t fathom saying goodbye to a place that has come to mean so much to me, but I also know that I cannot stay if He no longer has anything left for me to do here.

How I love this place! How I would love to fully participate in what God is going to do in Hoboken over the next fifteen years. Oh, God, make a way! I have done everything I know how to do to stay. I have prayed. I have submitted. I have changed my mind. I have begged that if I am not following the Holy Spirit but instead having a closed mind, that He would make this known to me. Oh, God, if I cannot stay, then help me say goodbye.

This conversation is not sudden in my life. It has been going on behind the scenes for a few months now. When I first moved to Jersey, I thought I would only be here for five years. I have been wrong about so many other things that I also thought I heard from God. I have begged that I would be wrong about this one. Entirely, completely, utterly wrong. That He would make a way for me to stay. That He would open a door in my heart. That He would help me pursue a new career. Instead every time I seek to pursue such an option, the tension when I “pay attention to the tension” rises to unignorable heights. I have walked willingly against the “tension” in my life before and entirely destroyed my life.

I seek only to follow. If that means I become a small-town Northern California girl, who am I to complain? Is He not the Potter? Does He not make the clay? Will not the way I know Him there be deeper than the way I ever knew Him here simply because He has promised that it would be? He has promised I will know Him more tomorrow than I would today. Oh, God, how I hate even the idea of saying goodbye. These people. This place. This home. Even this apartment, which I arrived in nearly five years ago, steeped in addiction not realizing what was wrong with my life. Oh God! If only you would open a way for me to stay!

My Jersey. My Hoboken. My people. My Church. My favorite tent on earth.

I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. John 10

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