Friday, June 22, 2012

Learning to Thrive | Rebekah Snyder

*This post is part of this week's Loving and Leaving Well Series, where we're talking about lessons learned from leaving the places and people you love. Missed a part? Catch up here!
There I was – eighteen years old and terrified – getting ready to move 450 miles away from the place I called home. 
I had moved only one other time in my life. I was three. And it was from one side of Bellefontaine to the other. Hardly what anyone would call a life defining moment. But this… this was life defining. And I wasn’t even taking the normal route of going to college and having the summers off and wondering if maybe I would move back to Ohio after four years had passed. No, this was goodbye.
Goodbyes are hard. Especially when they involve leaving everything you’ve ever known. But goodbyes are also beautiful because it means you’re saying hello to a whole new adventure. And sometimes the hope of that new adventure is the only thing that helps us through the pain of the goodbyes.

As I prepared to set out on this new journey, I realized that I had found myself between dreams. There were my dreams for the future that I was setting out to pursue, and then there were my dreams of the past. Because somehow, when I was dreaming of what the future holds, I forgot that pursuing those dreams would mean leaving other things behind. Things like friends and family and the familiar.

Still, I chose to cling to my dreams and step out into the unknown. In the three years that followed, I’ve learned more things than I’d ever learned in a lifetime. In many ways, I was sheltered. I was a small town girl who had known all of my friends practically since birth. I was accustomed to turning to my mom for answers. I could name all of the people who lived within a two mile radius of my home.

Then I moved to a busy, college town where I didn’t know anybody, my mom wasn’t there to turn to anymore, and I was living with strangers. I had to learn to make friends. I had to climb out of the shell I didn’t realize I was living in. I had to trust that I could truly hear God’s voice and depend on His leading to guide me safely into this new life.
And for the longest time, I felt isolated. There were so many Saturday nights that I spent in my room wishing I was at Bible study in my uncle’s dining room. And there were countless Sunday afternoons that I wished I could teleport to my grandma’s house and spend the day with my cousins.

But then God showed me that I wasn’t isolated; I was set apart. He was taking this time of separation to draw me closer to Him than ever before. And He proved Himself faithful. Though everything else in my life was stripped away, He was the One Familiar Thing I could cling to.

Blessing after blessing flowed from His hands. Slowly, but surely, I had people to fill my lonely Saturday nights. Eventually, I stopped missing the old Sunday afternoon routine because I had a new one. One day, I ceased merely stumbling through life and found that I belonged. I now had two homes rather than one.

If I could share only one lesson I’ve learned through this transition, it would be this: God doesn’t call us to stand on our own; He calls us to stand with Him. He won’t put a dream in our hearts and leave us to figure it out on our own. You don’t have to fear His calling and you don’t have to dodge His dreams because He only wants what is best for you.

At eighteen years old, there were times I had my doubts, but looking back I can clearly see that this is the best thing that could have happened to me. This small town girl knew how to survive, but what God wanted for me (and what He wants for you too) is to show me what it is to thrive.

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Rebekah Snyder is a writer, dreamer and lover of fairytales who is thriving in the calling God has placed upon her life. As the newly published author of Beyond Waiting, Rebekah hopes to teach her generation to embrace the plans God has for their lives. You can learn more about Rebekah and her journey at

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