STORIES, XPLOR

Power Moves Only

Margaret Morrison   |   October 21, 2019
Margaret MorrisonMargaret Morrison

Moving away from home is a funny thing. I have done it a couple of times. My first time was when I began college at the University of Georgia, a lengthy hour and forty-five-minute drive from home. This was a move that provoked so much anxiety and instability in me that I did not know if I would even want to move again. I had no friends, no idea what to study, and no idea how to get around Athens, Georgia. When I finally began to settle into my community and place at UGA my sophomore year of college, I made a decision that seemed silly based on my experience: I applied to study abroad at the University of Oxford in England.

This seemed like an insane move for a gal who was a mess after she moved to college, but I was accepted into the program and off to England I went. Studying abroad was one of my favorite experiences of college for many reasons. It illustrated to me an inner strength that I possess in myself, my people, and my God. I could go anywhere and be okay because of the support system that I had at home, the friends that I made on my adventures, the God I had and still have by my side, and because of the woman that I am.

One of my favorite moves, besides Oxford of course, was a move during two summers of college to a little town called Lineville in Alabama where I worked at a summer camp. This move seems small in comparison to a move across the pond, but it changed so much in my heart. I learned how to be myself and what it felt like to have friends who were family. I saw how God could make a little campus in the backwoods of Alabama feel like Heaven. This was a good move.

Now I have moved a mere 33 hours away from my hometown of Marietta, Georgia, and I am not going to be here for just three months like camp or study abroad. I am going to be here for far longer. I do not have a house full of forty-three people to talk to at all times of the day like in Oxford, I am not a short drive from my parents like at UGA, and I am not living among the blueberry patches like in Lineville, but I am here and I am learning. I am waiting expectantly to start seeing the ways in which my heart is changing because of this move. This big, wild, bold move. This move where when I tell people about it and they go, “I couldn’t do that,” and I want to respond “Yeah, I didn’t think I could either,” but I am here. I am here because I know where I can fall. I am so grateful for the people that love me and have cheered me on to this point in my life and am thankful for the people I have met or will meet in Spokane who will continue to do the same.

Moving is hard, but what I have learned is that it has the ability to change your life for the best. I am more me because of the people that I have met, the places that I have seen, and the opportunities that I have had because of moves, big and small. There is family to be had, dancing to be done, love to be found, and a God that abounds when you move.

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NBA XPLOR is a 10-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve. Learn more and apply at nbacares.org/xplor.

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