Thoughts of Miami

Most people have heard about the big announcement by now. I’m overwhelmed by the love and support from family and friends, especially those who have kept up with my journey this summer. But for others there may be confusion and many have asked, “Why?” “How?” “You just moved to Miami!”

Yeah, well…let me explain.

 

To make it simple, I’m impulsive. There. I said it. Step 1 to recovery. I came to Miami with good intentions, but it’s taken a year to realize it isn’t permanent. The past year has shown me that God still has me in his hand through failures and despite impulsiveness. I do not believe I would’ve been offered this position in DC had it not been for my move to Miami.

Despite all the struggles I’ve experienced since moving, Miami allowed me to develop as a writer. For once, partly because I only had part-time employment, I had time to write. I wrote and scheduled the blog posts for The Brook Miami. I worked closely with an editor for the first time as I pulled together an article for my dear friend’s new magazine. I had an internship with a startup online media source, and even began working on a novel to clear my mind from feeling like a failure. I talked with my roommates often about how I could really see myself doing this full-time; I just wasn’t sure in what capacity. Around the same time, I had a desire to get back into advocacy for domestic violence issues.

After no luck with finding work at a local shelter – something about being “overqualified”, which had to be a joke directly from God – I decided to apply for an internship in Washington DC at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) with their Development & Communications team. If accepted, I knew I’d be able to develop my writing skills and learn more about the development side of the nonprofit world, particularly within a domestic violence agency. I knew NNEDV was an excellent organization to help re-emerge myself back into the field after having worked at the state coalition in Tennessee.

Now let me back up. I started having doubts about Miami sometime in November 2015 but thought maybe I was just uncomfortable or homesick, which I was. I was living with four other girls and an anxiety-ridden Labrador named Paco. I didn’t have a full-time job. I missed advocacy. It was crowded, loud and my personality seemed to be the complete opposite of everyone else’s. But that was only part of the issue. No matter how hard I tried and prayed through differences, I couldn’t seem to plant roots. My roommates and I had group prayer every Tuesday morning at 5am (’cause we’re extra saved!) and we often prayed about being more intentional at the Brook, within the community around us, and generally in Miami. However, it felt like I was watching a movie and living life on the outside. My prayers for intentionality were being answered every single time – but through the lives of others, and not my own. However, I thought that if I could gain insight from my internship, maybe I’d come back to Miami and begin looking for employment again at a domestic violence agency.

I couldn’t deny that I was in the midst of great company, so I didn’t want to leave Miami. This level of community living was incredibly uncomfortable for little ol’ introverted/go to bed by 10pm/tryna be a vegetarian around meat eaters/”you better not wake me up at 5am for prayer”/what’s mine is mine/selfish me…but I was growing, learning, and a part of a wonderful church family. They have to be wonderful to put up with me! Shoutout to the Beach Crib! *throws up gang signs like Mau*

Shoutout to the Beach Crib! *throws up gang signs like Mau*

from Giphy
from Giphy
So the plan was to come back, even if I didn’t know what was next.

Not long after my internship started, I learned about several open job positions at NNEDV. Upon hearing about these, and noticing that several staff members work remotely from other states (assuming I could work from Miami), I prayed that if it was in his will that God would make a way for NNEDV to offer me a position. Yes, like out-of-the-blue offer me something. That was my prayer. I didn’t want to seem pretentious and apply for a position, especially as an intern. But maybe, in some sort of supernatural way, I’d be asked to stay within the organization.

That’s exactly what happened. After multiple discussions about several open positions, it was decided that a position would be created specifically for me. The other positions weren’t going to be a great fit, but this one would allow me to curate and disseminate research and content to programs. Basically, I’m going to be paid to research and write for a domestic violence organization. My prayers couldn’t be answered any more specifically. Except, Miami.

I prayed that I could work remotely (and even asked leadership at NNEDV), really for selfish reasons, but that wasn’t happening. I figured since so many tears had been shed and growing in community had been uncomfortable in Miami, I couldn’t just leave. This was the opportunity of a lifetime, and an answer to a very specific prayer, but I didn’t want to move to DC because I didn’t feel like going through the growing pains that naturally come with a transition. I didn’t feel like starting over and building new relationships, again. I still don’t at times. It’s the introvert in me. Building meaningful relationships is exhausting, and I suppose I don’t think I have the strength that it takes.

giphy

Then I was reminded that my strength isn’t what got me through hardships in Miami. My strength is limited. My efforts and work ethic alone isn’t even what caused this position to fall into my hands. I was reminded that the past year has been nothing less than a season of learning humility, growing in community, being okay with failure and trusting God more and more through prayer. I may not have strength, but I have new experiences and lessons that are going to follow me to DC, paired with a deeper understanding of grace. Having the roommates who love Jesus more than abandoning me because of my jacked-up attitude – that’s grace. Having a church family that’s dedicated to preaching the Gospel and stirring right affections for God – that’s grace. Hearing a clear ‘yes’ from a very specific and bold prayer, despite doubts about this past year – bruh, that’s grace!

Miami happened by impulse, but it wasn’t a waste and certainly not by accident. It’s just another detour until eternity. With that in mind, I’m excited to embark on a new journey and thrilled to step into a position that was tailored just for me!

 

LC 

PS. My blog wasn’t popping this summer, but I was writing! Check out some of these posts:

International Youth Day & Ecofeminism

Tribute to bell hooks

The Good, The Bad, The Legacy….Father’s Day

Five for Five: Know More, Do More

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