Turning a Dream into Reality

by Evan Ressegger

Photo by Lerone Pieters

Photo by Lerone Pieters

I sat in my car with fists gripped, frustrated with my circumstances. I had been living in Nashville, Tennessee for one year, yet it did not feel like home. I had wonderful friends and a good job, but something was missing in my life.

I had always dreamed of living in New York City, but other people in my life gave the impression it was not achievable. NYC was out of reach for a girl like me from a small town. So, in my desperation, I turned my thoughts to God and reflected on what I knew about him.

God says when we seek him, we find him. I had been doing that. Then why didn’t I feel I was getting closer to him?

Although uncertain, I prayed: “What is it you want for me? If I move to New York City, will you stay behind in Nashville? Will you disapprove of my choice and abandon me?”

NOT DOING IT ALONE

In that moment, I realized if I kept believing in God and talking to him, whatever I decided to do, God would be with me.

My faith in Jesus means I am his daughter and he says “no matter where you go, I am with you.”

If I moved to NYC, I would not do it alone. Jesus would be with me.

That summer, I packed up the home I had rented with two friends for the past year, and moved to Harlem to live with two strangers. Leaving the familiarity of my home in Nashville for the unfamiliarity of NYC felt intimidating.

Before moving, I had given more weight to what my co-workers and family had to say about NYC than what God thought of the decision.

DOING IT WITH GOD

As we seek God, he sets a path before us filled with privileges, and he leads us into good places where we have opportunity to give him honor. As Psalm 16 says: Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places. I’m overwhelmed by the privileges that come with following you for you have given me the best!

Instead of letting other people tell me NYC was too risky and I needed to play it safe, God was expanding my boundaries in ways I cannot even understand. When I bring my whole self to him — my desires, my pain, my mistrust— Jesus takes them from me and allows me to live freely with him.

No matter where I lived, whether I stayed in Nashville or moved to NYC, God would always be with me.

I decided to follow my dreams and take a leap to the big city, and to look to God rather than others for confirmation.

Perhaps, like me, you are thinking of moving to the city, but other voices are telling you it’s not a good idea. Have you prayed to God, asking him what his plans are for you in NYC?

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Evan Ressegger is a project manager for non-profits in NYC. Originally from North Carolina, Evan moved from Nashville to NYC to pursue work serving marginalized communities. She currently resides in Gramercy Park.