I've always resolved that I would never get "stuck" anywhere. I had the philosophy that staying in one place forever, especially in America, was a cop-out for going the "distance" with God. I wanted to please God by "going into all the world." Thing is...God didn't exactly tell me to do this, and I'm finding that my "staying in one place" is as adventurous and fulfilling as I ever thought living in a foreign country could be.
I usually get a little restless every couple of years and think that it would be a great time for God to move me. I have visited Africa in hopes of finding that He'd send me there. I even tried to go to China...who wants to do that? Even small moves in the same country or city God has never directed.
Oftentimes, we cling to Jeremiah 29:11 as a promise that will grant our wishes...okay, maybe you all never thought about it that way, but I believe that it was taught me from that perspective, that I would get all my hopes and dreams and be successful...unfortunately, my interpretation of one verse taken out of its context shaped years of discontent in my adult life. "Plans for your welfare, not for disaster" - Really? Broken engagement, tragic death of the love of my life, hmmm...pretty disastrous if you ask me. "Future and a hope" - For a while I was not in a job that I loved or felt was the best use of my skills and both of my sisters are married with children who are growing so quickly before I even have a prospect for a husband...hello, what kind of future is this?!
Now, be honest. If this was your "life verse" as a senior in high school, didn't you think it meant that you were going to have a wonderful, beautiful, happy, perfect life? I'm so glad I finally read the rest of the chapter to see what was going on when God told His children that He knew the plans He had for them. They were in exile - okay, I can relate. It would be years - time is flying. He told them to build houses and live in them - oh, wait, you mean settle? He said to plant gardens and eat from them - really, grow roots? Then He says marry and have children - still working on that one. He says to seek the welfare of their location - you mean work hard to improve the place I reside/work/attend church? My prosperity is directly proportional to my input into my surroundings? And while you're at it, don't listen to the lies of false prophets - as if I had time for all of that!
The point is, rather than always waiting for the end of my exile (job, singlehood, etc.), discontentedly searching for what I believed to be my hopes and dreams, God was telling me to grow some roots, to settle in. He was quietly, lovingly assuring me that I am where He wants me to be.
"But God, I don't want to get stuck!"
"You're not stuck, child. You're growing roots so that you can grow and produce."
The cool thing about roots is that they can be transplanted. If God decided to move me tomorrow, I would survive, though it would be very hard to say goodbye. So I no longer feel stuck, but grounded. I am content to stay, though I will go wherever, whenever He says.
But...I am CONTENT to stay.