Right on schedule for a fresh, Halloween start in this big new city, we rolled into Portland through sopping, rainy clouds of fog.
The drive to get to Portland was a scenic, meandering stroll with stops in Bend and Eugene along the way. And I am thrilled beyond anything to report that Oregon coffee is spot-on.
(Special shoutout to Tailored Coffee Roasters in Eugene, the provider of Steamboat Spring’s favorite ‘spro, the Locomotive, and personal favorite of our lead barista at the Ristretto Coffee Lounge. Incredible hospitality, killer coffee and a much-appreciated thanks for the beans thrown our way.)
And, while I’m at it, let’s take second to appreciate the incredible McKay Cottage Restaurant in Bend for serving a delicious, homey brunch spread. May their poached eggs never change in their sunny, molten perfection.
But the final stretch between Eugene and Portland was rainy and kind of terrifying.
The gorgeous woodland that spanned the distance between Bend and Eugene was so stunning and mysterious I couldn’t tear my eyes away. The road stretched before us, veering into thick mist that wound its way through the trees.
It was inspiring and curious and vast. It was poetic.
Yet as we drove through sheets of rain into Portland itself, an insidious kind of terror slipped into the car and wound its way around me the same way the fog did.
I don’t have a job out here yet. I have only a tiny studio apartment and big, widespread hopes. I have nothing I can grasp, nothing in my hands.
I know what I want to accomplish in Portland. I know that I hope to build a community full of intention and purpose. I hope to dive into food and writing and all of the skill sets God has equipped me with. And I know beyond anything that I will be taken care of — I have faith in His plan.
But I kept thinking to myself as the rain beat down the windows, “Is this what it looks like to answer a call?”
Never in my life have I done that. I don’t know what it feels like. Was any of this normal? Was packing up and moving away a big mistake?
Of course, those thoughts didn’t last long. I know the decision I made was the right one, it was a decision heavily prayed upon and fought for. (Convincing my family that this move was a good idea was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, and it still has not been accomplished.)
I need to be here, though. And I am so thrilled to see the plans that have been set before me, because they are bound to be great.
Just because I know these things doesn’t mean I won’t be discouraged or feel that creeping terror set back in. It just means I can beat it, because I am not fighting alone.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 11-13
So hello, Portland. Hello, Oregon.
Here’s to new adventures, seeking the Lord’s will and having one killer (and hopefully delicious) time.
I’m not scared. I’m ready. Bring it!