• katelynwitmer

Six Months in Salt Lake

“I’m sorry, did you say Utah?” 

My question to God over and over in the weeks following my acceptance of a position in Park City. You see, while it was always my dream to move West, it never occurred to me that Utah was an option. In fact, it wasn’t an option. With a reputation for being “Mormon country,” I wanted nothing more than to turn and run in the opposite direction.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s more to the story than just “why Utah?”

I was very discontented with life. You see, there was this boy. I fell hard for this boy, but our relationship seemed to be shallow and lacked the depth that I so desperately craved. As much as I tried to force the connection and drag us into the deep end, the end result almost always left me crying hysterically. This went on for over three years. Almost every weekend I talked myself into continuing the relationship because I thought he was “the one.” Pieces began falling apart when we entered into a very physical and intimate relationship, continued to fall apart when my parents started second guessing our relationship, and left me speechless when my friends begged me to just end it already. So I was in a relationship that no one supported (not even me sometimes if I’m being honest) and I had left my relationship with God behind. I was lying to everyone close to me, myself and God. 

On top of all of this, I had graduated school and during the job-search process found a freelance position that I knew was only going to be a stepping stone. That stepping stone turned out to be my biggest uphill battle yet. Fighting the forces of being hundreds of miles from all of my friends from college, my boyfriend, and my independence. I was living at home and working alone in my house with my pjs on and my dog in my lap. Some people would kill for that opportunity. I spiraled into a deep depression, but hid it so well from my boyfriend at the time. Don’t take my brief description as a lighthearted conversation, it was a bitter and very dark time. I would love to discuss this further with anyone who needs to talk, but for now the story goes on.

Fast forward to the interview process. I went through all rounds of obtaining my current job without my boyfriend at the time knowing. That’s right, a job 2,000+ miles away that I was about to leave for without telling him. Some may call it a rude mistake, I think it’s the most healthy thing I’ve ever done. I made this decision entirely myself, by listening and following after God. Because moving to Utah was nothing short of a blessing and a miracle.

I didn’t feel like it was a miracle at the time, I really just saw it as an escape—from the very toxic relationship I was in. I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders when I closed the door to that situation and opened a brand new one that has lead me to the most happy I’ve ever felt.

My dad moved me out here in a new (to me) SUV and only a fraction of the things I owned packed, and I do mean packed, into the back. My parents were gracious enough to purchase a car they felt I would be more safe in amid the crazy Utah winter weather. I could tell some crazy stories about the trek cross-country, but all you really need to know is that we arrived in Salt Lake City on a cold, sunny Friday afternoon in February ready to take on whatever was needed to get me settled in that weekend. 

Two days after moving out, I went to my first Sunday at Antioch SLC. One week later I joined a life group. Three weeks later I went to a women’s’ conference. A month in I was being discipled. Two months later I was considering doing Discipleship School (more info later on). Three months later I was helping in Kid’s Ministry and having regular meetings with our worship pastor to become a leader. Whoa.

I haven’t cried. “Wait, what? You haven’t broken down?” Nope! If you know me at all, I am... I mean, used to be an extremely emotional person. I cried several times a week. 

You might be wondering, “what about your job?” I can’t say enough great things about the team I work with here at Natural Retreats. It was definitely a great decision and I feel very lucky to have been welcomed so quickly. I feel like I’m learning and growing as a person and designer each and every day. 

I have a family here. People who would actually bend over backwards for me. I feel included, like I belong—something I’ve struggled with all my life. I still have my moments of insecurity and second-guessing, but I love the people here. 

So what’s next? I’ve decided to take on D-School this year, something I mentioned previously. Antioch’s Discipleship School is an intensive 9-months of intentional time of growing closer to God. Sound crazy? Maybe, but I don’t think that sticking to the same, mellow status quo is what I’m called to do. 

Here’s what I am called to do, though. Be a light to this city. And that’s exactly what I plan to do, following after God one step at a time.

My Utah story isn’t over, though. This only the beginning.

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