Yesterday I moved out of my apartment. For the foreseeable future, I’m taking a leave of absence from my job at an urgent care clinic. I sold everything I own except for some books and clothes, which all fit into my little Scion car. I’m sleeping in 8 different beds in the next 21 days, thanks to speaking venues that are putting me up in hotels, and friends who are lending me their spare bedrooms. After that I’ll be an artist-in-residence in Germany for a month, then staying with family so I can finish writing my next book.
Most people spend their lives working for things like houses and cars and clothes and furniture and high-def TV’s, and if they ever ended up living out of their car at 35 years old, it would be because they made some really, really bad decisions. They went into credit card debt. Their house was foreclosed. They impulsively quit a good job. They gambled their savings away.
But I am 35 years old, and I am living this way on purpose. Not because I made a series of bad decisions, but because I made a single choice. I want to let go of things so I can grab ahold of people.
I am boiling life down to its most simple form so I can focus on doing what I love — traveling, speaking about God’s compassion for us, writing articles and books that demonstrate that love, and investing book proceeds in the Somali girls’ trust fund.
I speak about the girls whenever I get the chance, and this week I just willed my house (which is currently a rental property) to go towards their trust fund when I die.
I’m glad that not everyone is called to do this — because whose spare room would I stay in if everyone was living out of their car???
But I’m also glad that I’m called to do this.
Last week I flew into Portland, where I lived for the past 6 years before moving to California, to speak at an event. The plane flew in around sunset, and as I watched the familiar landmarks from the plane, I felt a twinge in my heart, and I got a little teary.
The familiarity was special, but I also knew that Portland wasn’t home for me any more. It’s kind of like walking through a house you used to live in, but have moved away from. You have lots of good memories, but you know your future is somewhere else.
Just like walking through my old house as a little girl, I realized that I was still holding the same hand. I was holding my dad’s hand, and he was holding mine.
God, I’ll go with you anywhere, I said as our plane descended. My home is anywhere you are. And I will give up anything, everything, as long as I know you’re with me.
My home is not an architectural structure. My investments are not in things. My security does not come from a well-padded bank account. I don’t have any idea where this new adventure will take me. But I know who’s traveling with me.
I know who’s holding my future.
I know who’s holding my hand.
And for now, that’s enough.