When I think of Mosaic’s 2021 theme “Forward”, to me, Proverbs 4:25-26 is a great place to start: “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” This verse reminds me of a time in my life not long ago when I had to find a way to persevere. While I have been here for nearly a decade now, I am not a born-and-raised Houstonian; I moved here in November of 2012 from the San Francisco Bay Area to start at a new job at a chemical manufacturing company. Prior to this, I had actually been out of work for about 4 months, after having worked at a small start-up company that didn’t work out for me.
While the challenge of being out of work in and of itself was difficult, that’s not what this story is about. Rather, it was the challenge of moving to a new city by myself, and finding my way. Work-wise the transition was pretty smooth. Thanks to a great boss, I was able to quickly find my fit in the business and develop a productive skill set. Instead, my challenge was outside of work. I am a very social person (my wife would say I am a social chipmunk). Back home, I had a full social life with a network of great friends. I always found it easy to make friends, so while I knew I would miss my great California friends, I was actually excited about the opportunity to make new ones.
Boy did I not realize how challenging that would be.
Early on, I used bars and restaurants as a way to meet new people, so for a while, most of my friends were the bartenders and servers that served me. Within a few months, I was still struggling to meet new people, and I started questioning myself and my personality. Was I too outgoing? Was there something about me that I never knew was off-putting that my friends in California just accepted?
Nonetheless, I pressed forward, trying new things like meet-up groups and other activities. I remember it all feeling like dating! After meeting a new guy friend somewhere, I would find myself nervous to ask the person for their number, and then I would question myself when was the best time to call/text the person! Sound familiar? Me too.
There were many lonely nights for me in those first 6 months or so. At the time, while I considered myself Christian, I wasn’t an active member of a church. But there was one thing that a Christian friend of mine told me several years prior that stuck with me: faith.
Not just faith in the sense of having religious faith in life, but having faith that God has a plan for you, and God will guide you through life’s challenges. God used my friend to tell me that successful people in this world keep this faith with them throughout life, so that when they arrive to a new challenge, they can be faithful- that with God’s help, they will persevere.
Written by Kevin Therault
I collected stories about how faith kept people moving forward and put them together as a devotional for this Lenten season.
You can download the entire devotional here: