When it Doesn't Feel Sexy to Stay

It came seemingly out of nowhere, this opportunity, this offer. I hadn’t gone searching for it, and I was happy where I was. But here it was, this tempting, tantalizing offer. This chance to make a change, to try something new, to take a huge leap of faith into a new unknown. It sent me into a spiral of searching and thinking and wondering and wrestling, and it was all I could think about for days and days.

It was exciting to think about-- a new city, a new role, a new life-- but I didn’t feel peace about it.

The more I thought about the idea of leaving, the more I felt drawn to stay. The more I thought about the starting a new thing, the more I realized I needed to keep working at the current thing. The more I thought about spreading my wings, the more I realized I needed to plant roots instead.

I turned down the offer. I said no to the exciting adventure, and I said yes to staying.

I said yes to keeping the commitments I’ve already made to people and groups here.

 

I said yes to staying at the job I’ve loved for a year now.

I said yes to being only twenty minutes down the road from family.

I said yes to my small group, my church, my mentorship group, my friends.

I said yes to what God is doing in the here and now.

And here’s what I’m realizing: we romanticize running away. We glamorize ghosting. We applaud the adventures.

It doesn’t feel sexy to stay.

It doesn’t feel Instagram-worthy to choose to unpack our bags and build a life in one place over time. It doesn't feel adventurous to drive the same roads day in an day out. Staying doesn’t feel wild or thrilling… but I’m seeing so much beauty in it just the same.

I might not be jetting off to new places to meet new people, but I’m choosing to show up for the people I already know. I’m working through hard things with dear friends instead of giving up and seeking greener pastures. I’m finding that not everything about this city is pretty or fun, but that this city is my home regardless of its messes.

This is my season of learning to stay. I look at the calendar and realize it’s been nearly a decade in this city, and I marvel at how time flies. I never thought I would stay here even half that long, but here I am. I’m learning to stay. I’m learning how to push through the hard days, learning that the sun will shine again even after weeks of rain. I’m learning to let the tears fall when they come, and I’m learning to laugh more easily at the joy I see all around me. I'm learning that even though I've traveled these roads hundreds of times, there is still something new to be seen if I keep my eyes open. I'm learning I can find adventure even in the familiar, that I can explore more and keep discovering more even here.

I’m learning to let myself be known. I’m learning to open up to the people who have proven to be trustworthy, and I’m learning to let go of the ones who haven’t. I’m learning to try new things, that putting myself out there can’t stop when I feel comfortable. I’m learning to keep exploring even in the same city, learning how to keep stretching and growing and seeking even though the backdrop stays the same.

I said a big no, but I’m realizing I really said yes to so much more.

Yes to trusting God will move even when I stay.

Yes to believing He has abundantly more for me here than I can see yet.

Yes to holding hope regardless of the circumstances.

Yes to being deeply rooted.

Yes to staying.

Yes to being here.

All of me, all here. Staying put.