This is post is about starting a new life. Next week I will be embarking on a new chapter in life that God as has prepared for me. I am FINALLY off to school, leaving for Texas!! So this is a post of things that I realized and learned throughout the last three years of trying and dying to get out and what I have learned and realized in the these last couple of months that were left before I officially start my life as an independent official official adult. I write this for myself to reflect and for anyone who is going through this process too whether you are in your 20 or older like me and are only leaving home now no matter what for, or are 17 and fresh out of high school, or are still in high school and are leaving in a few years.
So background on my situation; I am a 20 years old who as dreamed about leaving home and moving to California since I was about 12. Skip forward 6 years of dreaming and crying and praying to get out and be an independent adult to my senior year of high school and I found a great school in California I was super excited about and never applied because I was scared of not getting in and a little scared of actually leaving and stayed in New Jersey for another year and joined community college. One year later, I applied to the school with my high school grades, and actually got in, and never went because it was to expensive for me. I spent the next year praying and the Lord showed me 1) what my calling is and what I should really be studying and 2) a school where I can learn to be a youth leader and leave home and is affordable for me. Which brings us to today where next week I will be off to Christ For The Nations Institute (CFNI). And I am excited and ready and terrified and freaking out in both a good and bad way. But I know now that this is my time and that God has prepared me already and He has taught me and helped me grow in ways that now I am okay to leave.
What I have learned and realized all these years is this:
- Sometimes you have to wait:
I spent as far back as I can remember in life wanting to be independent and wanting to break free (constantly singing that Kelly Clarkson song Breakaway). And the older I got the more I thought I knew. When I didn’t leave three ago right after I finished high school I thought that it was the worst thing in the world but today I see that if I had left I would not be as connected to God as I am now. Because I had a lot of emotional growing up to do and even though I was a Christian back then and followed Christ that was only life I knew and believing it or not back then I didn’t know what I wanted and would have made many mistakes because I would have been “free” to do and try whatever I wanted. So sometimes to be that independent person you have to sit back and wait where you are for your time because rushing into it when you’re not ready can lead to a different outcome than you are expecting to have.
- Being happy with yourself before leaving:
Sometimes you have to wait so that you can learn to love yourself where you are. I was someone who grew up with many insecurities and self-acceptance issues. And before I decided to really, truly, and wholeheartedly follow Christ I thought that if I got out of the life I was living and the people I was living with that I would be happier. And that’s not true and I see that now. And the reason I had to wait these three years to leave is because even though I had come to Christ for real I still had that mentality for a while. And the truth is if you don’t love yourself and are not happy where you are now leaving is not going to make you happy or help you love yourself it’s only going to make it worse because you will constantly be looking for that happiness in other things even after you leave.
- Don’t be prideful:
This is something that I only truly realized last month. I will admit that I am prideful, I struggle to except help financially or let my parents buy me the things I need because I feel like I am an adult now so I need to start taking care of myself, right? Wrong! And it’s taken me three years (well more like 6 years) to learn this. When leaving home if you have lived with your parents and have not been working a well paying full time job while there you will need help. Especially if you are off to college! And not excepting help is a dumb thing. Our parents and family members are here for us to help us and it’s foolish to think that by going off to school we will be attending classes and working to maintain our financial obligation. Yes are there some people who do, of course. But I have found and seen that the people who try to maintain the obligations of school and a job alone with no help either stop getting their education or stop working and are dependent on others for everything. I am not saying to let family pay for everything but if parents are offering to help let them because being on your own seems glamorous in our minds, right? We work and get our own money go where we want do what we want buy what we want. But we often forget to realize that for us to get to that place we have to go through the harsh and sometimes penny pinching reality of first being on our own. Which we don’t see until it’s a couple of weeks before and we are being dropped right in it.
- Don’t be a robot:
I have been learning to stop being a “robot” or a person who doesn’t show emotions, but let family and friends know that you are sad as much as you are happy. Yes the joy of starting a new phase in life in a new place is amazing but the feeling of leaving friends and people who are practically family is horrible. So sometimes we think if we don’t acknowledge those feeling until the very end it will be okay. But it just makes you feel worse on the inside and makes friends and family feel like you don’t care and they will be forgotten when you leave. And we know that’s not true but acting like a robot makes people think so even if they don’t say so. It also makes the goodbye harder. I’ve been doing that and only now have I realized that this week the goodbyes of my friends and family will hit me so much harder (even though goodbyes are going to be hard no matter what) because I hadn’t been talking about it and in a way easing into it.
- Don’t forget to tell the folks they won’t be forgotten:
See I’m not really good at showing all of my emotion (which is something I ask God to help me with everyday) and sometimes I’ll disguise my sadness or upsetting emotions by joking or being sarcastic. So on the road to moving I have been making jokes about how I’m going leave and only come back for Christmas or how I’ll call my mom once a month. And although this is my defense mechanism and my parents know this I know it still makes them sad. So especially now I have been trying my best to let them know that I’m not going to leave and never come back and that I won’t forget about them. We have to realize that leaving is exciting and sometimes hard for us but it’s the same for them. I mean this child that they raised is now leaving for whatever it is and that is scary to them that we will be too independent and meet and find other people and not need them anymore. And that’s not true so we have to remind them that we might be leaving but that doesn’t mean we leave their lives or they leave ours.
- Don’t stand in your own way:
This might seem silly but it happens more than you might think. We do things sometimes that stop us or delay us from being where we need to be. Now there is a difference between not being ready and standing in your own way. Standing in your own way is when you know you are ready to start being the person that God is calling you to be but you put up obstacles in your life to keep you where you are because it’s where you are is comfortable, or you feel you are not good enough. But here’s the thing you are good enough because the Father, Lord God is telling that you are. Which is why He has called and prepared you to be whatever it is He has called you to be. And never settle for a comfortable routine of a life because that will not get you anywhere. To be the person that the Lord helps you dream of it will come with challenges and sacrifices, but those are the things the Lord uses to help us grow to be those people.
- When it is your time go!:
Of all the things this is the most important to me. When leaving just like it could not be your time and you might have to stay and wait, it could also be your time that God is saying go. I feel like for me this year is it. After all these years of wanting to and not getting the green light this is finally mine. But I want to say is almost the same that I said in the last point when God says go don’t be afraid. Because if God is giving the green light that means it’s all part of His plan for you and you cant try to stop it. Because if you resist it enough you never know if that was the opportunity God was giving you that won’t come around for a while or ever again. Someone (I don’t really remember who) told me this year when I was freaking out about going to school (not in these exact words) “If you keep giving up on the things that God is giving you the opportunity to do because you are scared you are going to stuck in the same place for the rest of your life.” This is actually one of my biggest fears being stuck in the same place and this person was right. And I don’t know how many of you are feeling that same way or have the same fear. But that is why I’m saying this because when it is time don’t be scared because He is with you.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go – Joshua 1:9
Leaving your parents home and starting a new life by yourself can be a scary thing no matter how you feel about leaving. It’s comfortable and familiar. But part of growing up is learning to take care of yourself. Again that does not mean that you will never need anything from family again because you will. But don’t be scared if God is giving you the green light, because that means He has already made the path of that road for you clear to follow where He is leading you! So don’t be scared. But also if its not your time know that God still has some things for you where you are. So don’t rush it because the things you’ll learn in that time will be some of the most important things of your life. No matter what phase of this letting go journey you are in trust that it’s all in God’s hands and He will lead you to what He knows is good for you.