On the Words of Forrest Gump: When God Showed Up

Forrest Gump: No shrimp.

Lieutenant Dan: Where the Hell is this God of yours?

Forrest Gump: [narrating] It’s funny Lieutenant Dan said that, ’cause right then, God showed up.

It’s been since I was on my way back from Ireland that I wrote on the words of Forrest Gump, but after church this morning, I felt called to write some kind of a response to the sermon. Now, I promise I’m not going to get churchy on y’all, and I’m not writing this in efforts to convert those of you who may not be Christians. But I am going to write this post in efforts to clear my head and heart of what was laid on me this morning.

I talked last on the words of Forrest Gump about his quotes on running. It was during that mini series that I came out as being a runner. By that I mean, I run from my problems. I ran to Scotland my sophomore year of university after a devastating break up and ran to Ireland after my job and then boy friend were going south. And, well honestly, I was planning another get away for 2015.

I hinted to y’all that I was starting my TEFL course in preparation for another year abroad. Well, I am still working on the TEFL course, but I don’t think I’m going to head off again. When I came out with all of that, I was incredibly frustrated. I had returned home to Carrollton, GA and wasn’t happy. I was living at home, wasn’t meeting new people, didn’t find a job, and just was not fitting in. My friends and family were there to support me and tell me that things would turn around, but I wasn’t having any of it. Sorry y’all.

It was during that time that I “rationally” decided to go to Vietnam to teach English for a year.

My columns are due on Wednesday nights. The first week of December, like any other Wednesday, I finished my column where I hinted to my hometown that I was going away again. I struggled with publishing the article. Was it too soon? Was I acting rationally or being dumb? What if I decided not to go? Blah blah blah. Well, I published it. I had already published an article here on my blog earlier that week and the column article would be the final touch. Decision made. It would be out there in the published world for all to see that I was (more or less) running away again.

Not an hour after I sent the email to the editor with my column attached, I went dinner with my best friend and meet someone. For the first time in over two months since I had been home, I made a new friend. And this person is pretty darn cool. Great. But it’s whatever, I was going to ‘Nam right? Right. The NEXT DAY I got a phone call from a doctors office that I had dropped my resume off at about coming in for an interview. Le sigh. I went in for a series of interviews and I am now on staff full-time. I got a job.

God’s not letting me run this time.

So why the quote and why the mention of the sermon? The message this morning was about how sometimes we get into situations that we don’t want to be in, but there isn’t really a way out. Well, up until now, I had successfully found a way out of my sticky situations. Just run away to other parts of the world. Leave my troubles Stateside and create a newer better version of myself in other countries. Not worry about what is in the past and leave the future there. Live only for the here and now.

But like I said, God’s not letting me run this time. He knows my pattern. I’m an incredibly impatient person, and he saw me putting the wheels in motion to begin escaping again.

Sometimes when I would find myself in these type of situations, I would wonder, “Where is God?” “Why is my life hell?” “Is this on purpose or did I do this?” When I didn’t get an answer or maybe I didn’t get the answer I wanted, I would pack my bags and bail. I tried to do that again, but God said, “Nope!”

Can you believe that? Literally the hour after I submitted that column I made a new friend and then the NEXT FREAKING DAY I got a call about a job. I’m sighing and chuckling at myself as I write this.

So, it doesn’t look like I’m going to Vietnam in July. I’m going to stay put in Carrollton for a little while. I’m going to work and save some money, work on the relationships I have here, and travel Stateside. I do hope to get to Ireland and Sweden on short trips this year, but nothing is set in stone.

Where is that God of mine? He’s keeping me here and making me face my problems.

Morgan is a travel blogger and columnist who loves chocolate and a cheesy rom-com. She spends her time reading self-help books in attempt to reassure herself that she isn't all that crazy. Follow her on her wild adventures around the world.

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