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  • Writer's pictureKatie McGuire

Life Since Leaving California



THIS CALIFORNIA KOOK GOES SOUTH...


As you may (or may not) have noticed, I have been MIA in this little corner of the web. The re-launch of my blog last year was unfortunately anti-climactic for me... Isn't that just how life goes: "Yay! I'm finally going to be more active in this area of my life! I'm so excited!! This is gonna be the best!"

*LIFE HITS YOU WITH A CHANGE* *NOT ENOUGH FREE TIME*

"Welp, that's not how I planned for things to go..."


But I gotta say, this was the best life change that could have happened.


Not too long after re-launching my blog I made the prayerful decision to follow God's leading to move to Dallas, Texas come January 2022. It was something the Lord had been stirring in me for months (honestly, maybe even years?), and it felt like the right time to say "Let's do it." However, with saying "let's do it" comes the hard part of packing up your whole life into boxes, prepping your new home, & saying goodbye to your job, your friends, your family, your community, & the west coast—which has been home for your whole life.


In saying yes to this new adventure, I was saying yes to a season of growth & discomfort (which started immediately after the "let's do it"). And in the embracing of the hard & uncomfortable came the questioning:


"Am I making the right decision?"


"Should I really be leaving my comfortable job at a place I love when I don't even have a job lined up in Texas?"


"What about the community I've built here in California? What if I can't make any friends in Dallas?"


"How do you even make new friends as an adult?


"I'm leaving everything I know for a place I never thought I'd ever live...what am I thinking?"


"I have to say goodbye to literally everyone & everything I care about. It would be so much easier to just stay..."


Out of fear for what was next, I tried over & over again to come up with reasons to make the easier decision—to stay. But I knew the BEST decision for me was to follow Jesus into the uncomfortable. My life in California reached a point where it wasn't producing any fruit. It was comfortable; it was stagnant. Yes, it would have been much easier to stay put. But that's not what I was called to. If I stayed, I knew I wouldn't grow to be the woman I believe I'm called to be—a woman who bears much fruit for the Kingdom of God. I knew I had to steward my life well.

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It wasn't about saying yes to Texas. It was about saying yes to Jesus.


So I packed up my things, said goodbye, & hit the road.


YEEHAW!


The other day I was asked if Texas was everything I thought it would be, to which I answered, "No. . . it's more than I could have imagined." My older brother & his family live here in Texas, & in all the times I've visited, I've thought, "Texas is a great place to visit, but I don't think I could see myself living here." Looking back at that, I'm sure the Lord chuckled & said "Just you wait. I've got a lot in store for you in Texas." And boy, I'm glad I was wrong & that I get to do life with Jesus out here.


The last 7 months of living in Texas have been the sweetest blessing! It's been 7 whole months of stretching & uncomfortable growing pains—and I'm better because of it. When I look back & compare this year to last, I see exactly why God nudged me to move. The life I get to live in Dallas isn't perfect, but it's such a perfect fit for me right now. I can't imagine what my life would look like if I stayed in my comfort zone. One thing I know for sure is that I get to live in JOY because I was obedient to the Lord.


A few things that I'm grateful for in this new season...

  • I get to attend a Bible-believing church that stands firm on the Word of God, cultivates community really well, & loves the Lord wholeheartedly in everything.

  • I get to serve & minister to kiddos & families.

  • I get to do life with my sis & her pup as my roomies.

  • I get to live near my brother again & be a part of my niece's life.

  • I get to stand strong in my convictions, surrounded by other likeminded people.

  • I get to embrace my inner country girl (the cowboy boots are ecstatic that they get to live a new life at country dance halls...though I definitely miss the cow caring-for & fair life of my high school days).

  • I get to laugh & cry & do life with incredible people—still don't know what I did to deserve such community.

  • I get to take drives through wide & roaming green land & be surrounded by incredible architecture.

  • I get to live in surrender & obedience to the Lord, as He guides & provides for my life.

  • I get to grow in my faith & character, & live a life of meaning for His glory.


A few things I would change....

  • Y'all, why is it so hot??

  • Not a fan of the snakes & bugs. Could REALLY do without those....

  • I miss the ocean a lot...& also Disneyland....trying to figure out how to get those out here...

  • I thought bad drivers were just found in California, turns out they're everywhere.

photos by @kgm_creative



THE SWEET SPOT

Y'all know that feeling you get when you've been working on a puzzle, and the piece you've been trying to force in different spots finally finds the place where it belongs? A hallelujah! A sweet sense of relief! That's how living in Dallas has been for me. Jesus has been so kind in showing me that this is right where I'm supposed to be. If I've needed reassuring, He's delivered time & time again. The Lord has given me the biggest sense of peace in the craziness of building a new life & home. I'm so thankful for peace that truly surpasses understanding. There's still uncertainty in a lot of things, but there's no fear about where I am. I'm in very trustworthy hands.


NEW CHURCH...

I truly can't believe that I get to be a part of a church like the one I'm at. In leaving the church I attended my whole life (& worked at for 6 years), I didn't know what to expect in attending a new church in a new state. But the Lord is so, so good & I am so grateful to be where I am. He has absolutely exceeded all my hopes & desires. I don't know how to explain it, but Jesus knew I needed this community. Sitting under the teaching at my church has been one of the biggest blessings in this season & has brought so much spiritual growth. If the Lord wanted me to move to Texas just to attend this church, it would all make sense to me. A huge confirmation that I'm where I'm supposed to be.


QUICK TRIPS BACK HOME...

In the last 7 months, I've had the opportunity to visit California twice. There's something so strange about visiting home once you've moved away. The weird feeling of familiarity & comfort of returning to the place you lived your whole life...but the absence of your belongings, & the sense of your new ties somewhere else. The second time visiting home feels even weirder. The definite feeling that your home is in a different state, and the one you once called home doesn't feel like home anymore. California will always be my "home" because it's where I was brought up. But in my last visit, I felt the confirmation that Dallas is my new home, and where I'm meant to be. (ABSOLUTELY WILD!! never thought that would ever be the case).


I'm so grateful for the Lord's hand in my life. I never ever thought I would leave California. Ever. Why would I leave? Beach, mountains, desert, Disneyland, the best weather year round...literally why would I leave? But looking back at my old life, I can't help but praise Jesus for calling me out of it. With the last 7 months of growth, & more growth very evidently on the horizon, I know that I've outgrown the life that California offered me. Why leave? Because when Jesus says to do something, you do it. And taking a leap of faith will always, always, always be worth it.


THE MIRACLE OF COMMUNITY...

When I made the decision to move, back in October of 2021, my biggest prayer was for community in Dallas. Leaving my whole life behind—all the people I love; those in my corner—and heading to a new state where I knew no one (except my bro & his fam & my sis), I was afraid I wouldn't find solid community; people to do life with.


Okay, long story, but God's-glory-stories are worth sharing!!


In mid-May I felt super discouraged—I felt the loneliest I had ever felt. I was surrounded by people, some friends, some friends-of-friends, but I felt like I was lacking the genuine, authentic Christ-like community I desired & knew I needed. That night I booked a flight home to California (my second trip back), for the following week. I needed a retreat. I needed the ocean.


A few days later, I attended a worship night put on by some young adults from my church. At this worship night, a guy named KB, who was originally from Malawi, Africa shared the gospel message. Having been to Malawi twice, I knew I needed to talk with him afterwards. What I didn't know was that God was going to use him to connect me & my sister to community. A few days later at our young adults ministry we hung out with our new friend from Malawi, & he introduced us to more of his friends. I felt a sweet nudge from Jesus before hopping on a plane to California the next day. While away, I got to fill up my cup with sweet California friendships & spent time praying for new friends & my life in Texas. When I landed back in Dallas, I was picked up by my sis & we rushed to our young adults ministry where KB saved us a seat. After service, we were talking with him in the lobby & one of his friends that we had briefly met the week before came up & joined us in conversation. He then invited us to join a group of people who were all going out to eat after. Soooo, because you have to put yourself out there in order to build community, we said "Sure!" We showed up to dinner with complete strangers & walked away with invitations to hang out in the near future. That week we were invited on a boat, where we formed bonds with new friends. We were then told, "Y'all are part of the group now. You're in" And from that day forwards, we've spent multiple days a week with the best of friends, deepening & growing such an authentic & genuine Christ-like community. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!


God really did show up like, "You prayed for community while in California. How about I give it to you the day you land back in Dallas?" and if that's not evidence enough of the kindness of my Savior, y'all be trippin'. The sweetness of answered prayer, in such a needed time. God is so good. He really is so kind.


UNTIL NEXT TIME

So that's just a little glimpse at the last 7 months.

The journey is just beginning.

The adventure of a lifetime continues every day, as His mercies are new every morning!

What a joy to do life with Jesus in a new place.


Though I can't say what curveballs life will throw at me next, I do hope to continue writing & sharing life in this space. Pray for me, haha I need the accountability.


Love y'all!





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