It seemed like just a regular Saturday, watching a House Hunters episode and working on a writing project {a.k.a. perusing Pinterest}.

I had a nice iced fizzy drink in a mason jar with a glass straw, feeling all special and happy about the little things in life like mason jars and glass straws.

The kids were enjoying our grassy back yard, my husband was playing with the baby on the floor watching her learn to sit up. I didn’t expect what was about to happen.

Instead of just innocently enjoying watching a show where people move to new places and embark on new adventures (while being perfectly satisfied in my happy current existence) I started to get the itch. It’s a familiar one, so I knew right away what it was.

It feels like an unsettling, like new places might be desirable, like it wouldn’t be so bad to leave this house and find another. Like it might be time to move again.

I tried to ignore it, and continued on with my day. But the itch just got worse.

Soon I talked with my husband and he lovingly called me crazy, reminding me that we just moved to this house last summer, to this city just over two years ago.

But the itch would hear nothing of it.

Pretty soon I noticed my husband feeling the itch too. Comments about how going abroad to serve might be in our future. Out-loud wonderings about where God was taking us next were met with a side-eye and a zipped lip from me {I had to continue to let him think it was his idea, right?}. It wasn’t much longer and we realized the itch was a real “thing” and it wasn’t going away.

The problem? If you feel God calling you to a new adventure, you really should be prepared for that adventure to be the opposite of what you expected. We expected something fully “new” and what we got was what felt like a punch in the gut instead.

We were being called home to the city we grew up in. Where we hadn’t lived in over 11 years. A cross-country move from South Carolina to Arizona was apparently ahead of us, and we were scrambling to make it not be so.

The timing of the move (just 2 months away at the time) and the immense feelings of “been there, done that” were hard to swallow. We can’t even say that all our memories of AZ are good ones.

But what we can say is that we are now very, truly EXCITED to be going! We’re grateful for this change, seeing blessings at every turn, and fully expecting to flourish in our new home. But HOW did we come around? How did our hearts do a very gigantic 180?

The secret is this: when God calls you to something you don’t want to do, cry and cry a lot.
Yes, really.
Get it all out.
Then…ask God to make His will your will.

Those prayers will be answered though, so you really need to mean it.

The beauty in all of this is that those prayers will be answered! You will experience such peace on the other side of that kind of surrender. You really will feel fantastic and excited about the path you once dreaded.

So don’t be scared of that itch you may be ignoring, because I have no doubt there are blessings on the other side. A God itch is the kind you *want* to scratch!

Do you feel any kind of God itch in your life right now? What leaps of faith are you hearing whispered to you that you maybe need to listen to?

***

By Arianne, of To Think Is To Create

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  1. 1

    I needed to hear this today. We made the move to S. Africa and things aren’t as we expected. You write: The secret is this: when God calls you to something you don’t want to do, cry and cry a lot.
    Yes, really.
    Get it all out.
    Then…ask God to make His will your will
    This is what I think we need to do! Thank you for sharing!

    • 2

      Debbie I’m so grateful these words spoke to you – praying for you as you hear God whispering Love to you amidst this hard time. ((hug))

  2. 3

    Thanks for encouraging crying it out — I’m all about getting real with God and not trying to “play nice,” He already knows, so why not own up to it? Here’s a bit of what I’ve been hearing God say recently (http://wp.me/p1Ut5W-7u) and there’s a follow up post too (where others shared what they’ve been hearing God say). Amy

  3. 4

    As our church’s Missionary Care Team leader and a parent volunteer for a missions sending organization, I know “the itch” well!
    Praise God, He prompts our hearts, and helps our brains and bodies to follow. Yay that He calls us around the world, across the states, and down the street! Moves going “back” are always hard, and often come with a dose of humility. No matter where we’ve been, it seems we have grown in spiritual lessons, and folks “back there” are still. the. same. Stuck at the end of the vinyl album blip. it. plays. over. and. over.
    Yay that we are ALL called to be “Great Commission, Great Commandment” people! Our mission fields may have a new culture and language, or the frustration of everyday sameness. We may be called to work in minefields of a war torn country, or the poverty of a chicken plant. People everywhere are hungry for a new life with Jesus!
    The blessing is in obedience. Being willing to go. and. tell. Being willing to say Lord, send me! To ask for the changed heart and letting go of the here and now. The comfortable.
    Praise God He goes before us. He grows us. He is able.
    God bless you on your move!

    • 5

      Oh but isn’t that so hard – that vinyl album blipping of the people from our past. True words, friend. Thanks so much for your heart here!

  4. 6

    I can really relate to the feeling of not wanting to do what God wants me to do. Sometimes we get caught up in believing that it can’t be His will if we don’t want to do it. But I have also found that a good cry…or two…or forty two and a whole lot of praying will bring my heart to submission. For me, the path is hard and what I am called to is a season that NO ONE wants to be in. But God has purpose in this storm and I only need to obey! Thanks for sharing!
    ~Kim {www.notconsumed.com}

  5. 8

    Thanks for this post. It helps me today. We are facing a cross-country move in a few months to plant a new church. While we feel certain of God’s call, I feel so sad to leave a place I LOVE , where my children have all been born, the place where we have lived for 16 years of our 17 year marriage. We are moving from city to a small town, from New England to Texas, from a young church to a core group of retirees. I do need to cry and tell God everything, all my fears for my children, my worries, my inadequacies. I need to recount all the ways He has been faithful all the way through, and I need more FAITH that He goes before.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. 10

    What an encouragement! Love it!

  7. 11
    Charise says:

    Boy does this speak to me! I just recently moved 2,000 miles away from all of my “comforts” and it was hard. The one thing I held onto was that “His plans are for good…” and I had to trust that, especially with not knowing how things would turn out. His plans are always good, even if we don’t understand them or if they don’t seem good to us. I can trust His love for me and knowing that He is for me and not against me and that has helped me to keep going forward in His will even if I am crying all the way. Thank you for this post, it’s so encouraging.

  8. 13

    This is such an amazing post and one that so speaks to me but from a different perspective: scratching the bad itch away that comes with complacency when you know God has a plan for you but you just know the enemy is trying to make you take a detour. This past October I got my Army assignment orders to Kansas and for some reason I immediately felt in my heart this was not the plan, but as a good Army girl I made the preparations all the while thinking this was not where I was supposed to be going. I prayed hard and with as much faith as I had, I just knew this was not the path that I was supposed to be on. Fast forward to January. Three days before I was supposed to depart my dad started showing signs that he may have had a mini stroke, and later that day we were told he possibly had lung cancer. My orders were cancelled and I just knew that this is why I felt that I was not meant to go to Kansas. I knew deep down God was preparing me for the storm ahead. But then on top of that I received orders to Korea, while this was going on! That is when I knew that the enemy was going at it with the plan God had for me. The enemy wanted to shake my faith, but I am stubborn and I held on to my faith with both hands… and feet! I put in my request for a compassionate reassignment, and while some told me to prepare myself for the move, I put all of my faith… ALL OF IT, in God and told everyone that I was not worried because this was already approved as part of God’s plan. And indeed it was. My compassionate reassignment request has been approved and I get to stay home for the next year to help my father through this storm. It just goes to show that some times some itches are good to scratch… away!

  9. 17

    Love the part about crying it out when He asks us to do things we do not want. Thank you for the reminder, too, that the prayers to make His will mine will be answered–that I, too, will be excited about what He asks.

    • 18

      Yes I think we sometimes think we’ll submit and it will always have to feel like we are dragging our feet. But we need only ask and He will transform our hearts to find joy in the journey!

  10. 19
    Eleanor Watson says:

    What a great encouragement for me today. My husband had a traumatic accident with no insurance. He is almost fully recovered now. However, the bills aren’t. ha.
    I have to return to work and for the first time in my life, nothing, nada, not even a nibble. Never in my life has this happened. I am sitting in God’s incubator..it’s warm, and close. I am in a class at church that I really need to be strong spiritually and I know I am where I am supposed to be, but the bills keep a pilin’. But I rest in the fact that HE knows and will provide. I also know that when it’s time, it will pop up in front of me and I will know. In the mean time, I am volunteering at a homeless shelter with my husband one day a week.
    Thanks for the article..great encouragement!

    • 20

      Oh Eleanor, what a journey you’re on right now. Praying for you as you keep that lamp lit, as you keep the faith, and listen to His whispers. ((hug))

  11. 21

    I know the itch you are talking about. It happened to us 16 years ago and brought us to a new state and a new job/company. It was the best move we could have made and we are grateful to God for where he has guided us. Even though I knew it was right at the time, I still cried change is hard. But, once that good cry is over, you know where you are supposed to be with a certainty.

  12. 23
    Pam Lawhorn says:

    Thank you for the encouraging word today. Although the itch I had was not to move from my house, but to move ahead with my life. I got the itch to go to college to become a PTA. I am in my second semester and loving it. I am getting little nudges about becoming a motivational speaker. I am someone who most of my life had a low self-esteem and did not think I would suceed at anything, God has completely turned my life around and is making something wonderful out of me.

  13. 25

    Wow..thanks for posting this. We are going through this right now.
    My husband will be getting a job offer next week which will consist of moving an hour from where we live now(small town) to a big city with a village appeal and I am excited and nervous about silly stuff. Wondering if others go through this.
    We have a big yard, house and safety of letting the kiddos run around and bike outside and I don’t have to be out there to small city homes(which is fine with me) but small yard, no driveway to write with sidewalk chalk on, no basketball hoop and we would have to go to the park to swing and play kickball. Wondering if I am making a bigger deal out of it or if my kiddos will adjust. I have 4 kiddos from 8-4 and pregnant, and waiting for over 2 years to adopt too. No family will be by us either. Just praying for God’s plan and we will obey!
    Thanks!
    Jill
    http://www.campfunk.blogspot.com

  14. 26

    nhsfcjd

  15. 28

    I can so relate to this post…every God itch that we’ve received is never really that easy…tears flow quite easily in those times! we are in the middle of transition, on our way to Europe to serve Jesus and the people there…we are very excited but it’s not always easy…especially with our first baby on the way- you kinda just want to feel “settled” :) Anyways, thanks for sharing your heart today- so encouraging!

    • 29

      Oh what an adventure you have ahead with a country change AND becoming first time parents! Prayers for you, what fantastic blessings. <3

  16. 30

    I always have that itch to move but I’m now learning to be content when God is scratching that itch with contentment to stay. I love that He always give us peace in His will even when it isn’t what we hoped.
    Great post!

  17. 32

    I can relate. It’s something that has never happened to me before in this way, but one night while in prayer I couldn’t stop crying and I wasn’t sad about anything. I prayed for what seemed like hours until nothing was making it stop except when I said, “God, I am scared, make me fearless to do what you want me to do.” I had an idea in my head about eventually letting people stay in my home, or getting groceries for random neighbors as I was saying it.

    Then I stopped weeping, and then laid in perfect peace for a really long time. I made up my mind in that extreme calm peace that I had to email my church to ask if someone needed a place to stay. I had this itch like I HAD to ask and I know if I didn’t, it would not go away. I wrote a lengthy email and said I felt crazy, but it felt like God was asking me to take a step out in obedience.

    Six days later, the church emailed me the contact info of a lady who had come to our church for the 2nd time and needed a place to stay. She had no savings and an $8/hr job. Currently living in a situation of turmoil with a brother and his wife she needed to leave.

    So in the midst of my foreclosure I was fixing up, a stranger came to live in my home for an indefinite period of time, while I still had no kitchen. God’s timing is funny, isn’t it?

    So many fears and “what -if” situations cluttered my mind as the day she moved in approached. She also had a dog and I have allergies that plug up my sinus cavities. However she backed out of staying with me when I said no pets. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I am missing out on a huge opportunity by disobeying God. So I searched my Bible for an answer, but all I could find was the stories of sacrifice … and finally, Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. So I thought that maybe I at least have to be willing to take her dog in too.

    So started a new chapter of my life, doing something crazy and not in my timing. Living with her has made me see how much control I have and given me the opportunity to practice letting go of my control. The speed at which the toilet paper gets used, the toiletries, the groceries… to what of my things get shared… each day I get to practice asking myself if I am really that stingy and that there really is no end to what is “mine” and what is His. Even when going to get us food for the week, I realized starting out that I was being close-handed and buying cheap. Then I became ill and now I am shopping for our food more freely with lots of produce and knowing that this is what God wants us to live for – sharing and using His resources for people He loves…not to hoard or to save because it’s a “good thing to do.” He has challenged me to feel what it’s like to have no bounds to what we do with His resources.

    It’s amazing what God does when we step out of our comfort zone! I don’t think I can ever turn back and live a normal, comfortable, American life again.

    • 33

      Wow – I absolutely love this story. THIS right here, your life, the story you’ve shared? That is Church. That is His body. You are living out exactly what Jesus told us to do. I am so very grateful for you coming here to tell us of these things because I know your words will bless someone who is considering taking that same leap of faith. The prayer time you describe, I’ve had many an experience like that. It’s that “listening” prayer that we rarely do. Thank you, friend. <3

  18. 34

    Thank you. This is very timely for me since I too am moving back to my hometown. I prayed “Lord send me, use me, pick me! Anywhere but back home Lord, anywhere but my ‘Egypt”. As I pack &prepare to head back to my Egypt (southern California) I too have cried & cried but it wasn’t until the Lord reminded me of prayers whispered yrs ago that my heart was settled. I felt God whisper to my heart, ” you prayed that you could minister to the orphaned children, now go & minister to the spiritually orphaned children…minister to your nieces & nephews.” What a privilege it is to me to be allowed to be used in this way. Thank you lord! Now, if you will help me get over the smog & the traffic we will be good :-)

    • 35

      Myrna I lived in SoCal a long time so I can totally relate to being bummed about returning! Ha! And I see how you know my “pain” of “anything but that Lord…” and then He said “nope, exactly that!”. Blessings to you as you follow your path. <3

  19. 36
    Christine says:

    I’ve been bounced back and forth across the United States and in different parts of AZ that I thought maybe I should just get a gypsy wagon and horse and call it a day. I generally know when a move is about to take place. So far, I don’t have those indications yet. The only part of the trips I enjoyed were the ones where I traveled by myself across the country. It was a delightful road trip both ways even when my water pump went on my truck. God provided amazingly for that by having me pull into a Holiday Inn and discover that a Dodge dealer was right across the street so I could get my truck fixed. Right now I live in Gilbert. Where in AZ do you think you will be going?

    • 37

      We will be in Phoenix, and I can so relate about the gypsy wagon! We have moved so many times in my almost 14 yr marriage.

      • 38
        Christine says:

        I prefer to be living at a higher elevation, like Payson or Christopher Creek in a pine forest. I have a real hard time with the intense heat, because I was born and grew up in New York. My son has a very hard time with it, too.

  20. 39

    Arizona isn’t bad. I love it here. God is called me here, too, but He brought it around so that it creates quite an amazing story. Too bad they don’t make as much in this state as in other states. That’s the only downfall.

  21. 40

    Ari, I love this! I even got a little teary reading about the way this idea took hold in your heart- in spite of already knowing you’re Arizona-bound. I’m excited to see how it will all come together and how God will work once you’re settled in your new home.

    I do feel stirrings that something is afoot, though I have no idea what and whether or not I’ll be on board (right away) with God’s plan. And so I cry while I wait because sometimes it’s too much to hold inside- the waiting and the wondering and the hoping.

    • 41

      I think God so appreciates when we let it all out to Him, Leigh. I think somethings are afoot for you, too. I’ve not known you long, but I can tell your gifts are wondrous. Can’t wait to see where He takes you! xoxo

  22. 42

    Your heart for the Lord is obvious in your writing, Arianne. I have no doubt you will be of great service to Him wherever you find yourself, in familiar or new territory. This is a wonderful message: our perception is so distorted, we can never pretend to know God’s map. Over the next 5 years, we are facing major changes in many aspects of our lives. It is all very confusing. May the Lord’s will become ours.

  23. 43

    I really think you keep speaking to me! Thanks so much for your encouragement and reminders.

  24. 45

    Thank you for the blessing of this testimony (and permission to cry my way to surrender). May the Lord continue to bless your move back to AZ and give you joy there. I have a beautiful, dear friend in Scottsdale who has grown to love the desert even though it’s not Texas. God grant that you would, too.

  25. 47

    AZ will be happy to have you back, at least the part of AZ that includes me.
    Thanks for the reminder to listen and to enjoy the sweet little somethings throughout our days.

  26. 49

    Arianne,

    Really great article! Thx for posting. This hits me where I’ve been living the last few years. How do you respond when your “want to” doesn’t initially want to. :)

    Appreciated the reminder.

    Sheryl

    • 50

      I think it’s important that we trust that He really does know what will make us happy. So when we feel like we don’t want something, if we just obey we can trust that eventually it will be something we WILL want! Thanks for your thought Sheryl!

  27. 51

    Really great article. We are planning to move across the state in a few months, as my husband was offered an awesome business opportunity. We will be leaving our 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters. I will be leaving my teaching job of 18 years! We are going to a town we have always dreamed of living in. This is truly a leap of faith for us.
    So many doors have opened for us, it just has to be God’s will.

  28. 53

    I have read this, reread this, reread, this… . . . know what I mean? :)

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  29. 55

    As a missionary kid then spending my life moving every two years, I know the itch well. With following God comes the thrill of new things and new areas of service. May God bless you for obeying and may He increase your territory.
    I have been back in the US now for 4 years (two states) and it is hard to stay put! Sometimes that is what God desires as well and from someone who itched for so long, it is not easy to obey God is staying!

    • 56

      I hear ya – the staying can often be the itch too. When you know God is saying “rest for now” instead of sending out to the more “exciting” battles. Thank you for your heart here today!

  30. 57
    Jacqueline Bay says:

    Very timely. We are in transition and we are not sure where the Lord has us. Plenty of time just to spend in prayer and seeking and then moving in faith in the direction He has called. Thank you for this lovely post.

    • 58

      And thank you! Truly sometimes the direction might be clear but the steps to get there He can still keep in the dark, sharing only each little step as it’s needed. Prayers for you as you have ears to listen! xoxo

  31. 59
    Robin in New Jersey says:

    Oh wow! I received a letter in the mail today letting me know what I need to do to avoid foreclosure on our house. Maybe the Lord wants us to go somewhere else?

  32. 61

    Oh, my! I’m in the aftermath of the God-change, and still surprised at some things He has done. He had us stay in our ‘anywhere but here’, looks like my husband will be working at the thing he least wanted to do, and He had us put our children in school, when we were planning to homeschool forever! My head is still spinning, and I’m still asking how He wants to use my days. Thanks for sharing what you’re going through!

  33. 62

    Yep. And it’s half-crazy, half-unsettling. I cried a lot this weekend, no worries. You are so right :: that peace comes so quickly once you surrender. Love this post, girl. Such wisdom.

  34. 63

    I love that. For even though I may whimper and pout – it’s truly what I want.

  35. 64

    Honestly I’m in more of an opposite stage. We’ve been living here in Maine for a little over a year now and while it has been so much better then Connecticut, I’m pretty sure you understand how I feel when I say I can’t stand the snowy winters here. It’s such a depressing time of year for me.

    Hubs has the itch to buy a home here. We have a great school district {even though eventually we will homeschool}. The church we found is AMAZING! …. but still I’m hoping to move. To walk away. To RUN away from this snow filled area. I miss living near family, I miss having friends, I miss good weather {although the humidity actually does GOOD things for my hair. Who know?}

    I’m so afraid. I know it seems crazy but there is this part of me that is terrified that if I pray for God’s will to be my will we will be here in this place for a longer amount of time. I’m really struggling with submitting on this. For some reasons I know why {SNOW and lack of friends} and others I don’t know why. Worse, I wonder if it is hindering me from submitting on other areas of my life and what I might be missing out on. I just don’t know how to do this.

    I wish I had the heart and confidence you and your hubby have.

  36. 65

    I went through that same scenario 4 years ago. I DREADED coming back to my hometown. I joined the US Navy and left at 21 and said “I ain’t never going back!” but God……God had different plans for my life and in obedience to His will my husband and I moved here during the middle of a school year leaving behind and unsold home in Florida in the midst of the mortgage industry bust. Through our eyes the timing couldn’t be much worse. But God…..God knew the perfect timing and the move here has been a blessing beyond what we could have imagined. We have the honor of being the caretakers for my grandmother who moved in with us shortly after we arrived. And next Saturday we will celebrate her 100 year old birthday. We are truly blessed. Thank you for sharing your story and for the reminder that being in the center of God’s will is truly a blessing :)

  37. 66

    I’ve lived this out in so many ways in the past 3.5 years. I know this. I know it to my core. Thanks for putting such beautiful words to it.

  38. 67
    Beth Williams says:

    Arianne,

    I have that itch–to change jobs. God keeps saying no to me–Not yet. “when God calls you to something you don’t want to do, cry and cry a lot.” Yes, really. Get it all out.
    Then…ask God to make His will your will.

    I have cried tons & thought I was over it till today. I will continue to ask God to mke His will mine–even if it means learning to be content!

    Thanks for a thought provoking post!

  39. 68
    Adrienne says:

    Thank you for these words. And thank you for the permission to cry it out. :) My husband is a pastor and recently received a call that took me from everything I loved and was comfortable with to a state far away with a culture I don’t really understand. I’m learning that obedience to God’s will is a daily decision and the only way to be at peace in my new surroundings. Thank you for the encouragement. They blessed my heart today.

  40. 69
    Romi Gomez says:

    It’s a great encouragement thanks for sharing it’s very true we have to cry ,cry & take out our burden then surrender everything to our savoiur lord jesus he will bless & guide your family once you move out to AZ …keep praying & keep your faith also will include your family in daily prayers .

    God loves you & once again thanks for sharing wonderful message .

  41. 70

    Thanks for this. I am sitting in my bed crying right this minute because my husband is experiencing an itch that I’m not and I’m scared and sad and frustrated. So I’m in the crying phase. Phase two will come soon. :)

  42. 71
    Melissa says:

    Thank you for reminding me what to pray for. God moved us to Seattle from TN almost a year ago & it’s still so hard! I’m dreading Easter as it’s yet another holiday that we’ll be away from family. I want God’s will to be my will!

  43. 72
    Stephanie says:

    We are feeling the “itch” too that it is time to leave where we are and have been for over 6 years. We are excited about the itch but wondering where God is going to take us next. Can’t wait to see!!!!

  44. 73

    I so appreciated this post. That itch is bothering me too, but I still cannot figure out what God wants. My job was eliminated in the beginning of February, and while I am trying to be open to relocation (I have had a sense that God is planning something), I do not know what his plan is, therefore I feel as if I do not know what to search for (which is a problem when you’re job searching and such). Warring with that is my want to be married – moreso than I used to want – and knowing that my current location (and even other closer locations that are slightly bigger) will likely not be conducive to that.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. I finally submitted to learning to let God’s will be mine just in February, but I still have those moments of unknown, full of fear and frustration and tears.

  45. 74

    As a military we get to go where God sends us (though the AirForce), but not always where we want to go. It didn’t take long to realize that God’s plans are best and that a good attitude in the first place would really make things go much smoother! It may not be what we want, and we may not see His purpose or His future plans, but we can trust Him. Always!

  46. 75

    This came into my inbox on Sunday afternoon. Could not have been more perfect timing. Praying for wisdom and discernment and willingness to go where He wants us.

  47. 76

    good luck on the move!

  48. 77
    Cdeejones says:

    I love the comment “I don’t play nice with God,” He already knows what I’m thinking. This is the place I come from, but then my struggle is how to know if when i pray about God revealing His will whether it’s God’s Will being revealed to me or just a coincidence that happens.

  49. 78
    Annette says:

    I know you wrote this some time ago, but the Lord has just now brought your post to me and the timing is Godly. My itch? Starting a blog. My first leap of faith, leaving my career to come home. The transition has been one of peaks and valleys. God had put it in my heart to begin a blog as a testimony and encouragement to other moms who he is also calling home from the career/work life. I have gone through many headaches setting up a blog which I think is bla. I gave up and has not posted since September. What can I possibly offer that would be of any use to anyone. I am an ordinary women trying to make it in the crazy world of marriage, parenting and all the other hats women wear daily. I can’t however, shake this feeling, this “itch” that God is calling me, His whisper to trust, go forward, and take the “leap of faith”, again and put myself out there. Your post has been very moving and I cannot help but think this was a God thing, a God whisper. Thank you so much for your words. I don’t know where they will lead, but if you could pray for me…

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