Two months ago, I packed up my faithful Honda for what seemed like the hundredth time, said goodbye to the Florida life I loved, and drove across the country to California.

Since then, the majority of the past fifty-seven days have been filled with a strong-willed desperation to find my “new calling”. Without a job to walk into upon my West Coast arrival, I found myself monotonously rearranging furniture, painting every blank surface I could get my hands on, reading far too many blogs on baking, and let’s face it—watching every season of Game of Thrones within days. My creative heart was shriveling up along with my self-confidence, and I began to question what I had to offer to any organization in the area. See, when you’re not doing the things you were born to do, it aches in every fiber of your being. Thoughts of dreams fulfilled consume your every moment, conversation, and emotion.

And there were moments that felt like the gasps between the release of an uncontrollable cry. Those seconds when you struggle for just enough air to keep beats in your chest to propel the tears, hoping— no, frantic for— the pain to flood out of you with the salty water. This is the roar of failed dreams crashing against the walls of your heart.

Until one late morning when I was reminded of Paul’s message in 2 Corinthians:

“He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. That’s why we live with such good cheer. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going.”

Oh, me of little faith.

I had been so concerned with what was to come next that I was missing out on the heaven existing all around me. I was settling for thoughts of a questionable future, when I could have been celebrating the certain joy of today. It’s okay to have doubts, and to feel the emotions we were created to have. But when we can rest in the truth that God’s timing is not our own, our faith can extend just a little farther out, and suddenly the doubts and emotions don’t feel so permanent.

Just this last week, I was offered an incredible job, helping form the communications of a ministry and community I really believe in. Through every conversation and prayer, I can feel our sweet Jesus working, and I’ve realized that even though the journey’s been hard, I am in a place to be used for the good of the Kingdom. I am dancing in a fountain after falling to my knees in the desert. I am experiencing Heaven. And like Paul said, I believe it lives in all of us.

There’s something so beautifully powerful and incredibly humble in knowing you are exactly where you are supposed to be, but that place stretching and tearing and hurting your deepest of deeps. It’s as though God has put both hands on your cheeks, pulled your face in close, and said “I love you enough to bring you to this place, but never to leave you here forever.” He wants to use and grow and beautify these hearts, not leave them stagnant to wither away.

Because He loves us enough to use us, and never leave us alone. It’s what we trust in and don’t yet see that keeps us going.

Shannon Douglas

Born and raised in Southern California, Shannon is now the Communications Director for South Hills Church. She enjoys storytelling, styling events, strategizing for organizations, and going to Disneyland. Read more about Shannon in the "Our Team" section of She Has Worth.

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