With great excitement and a little bitter-sweetness, I am happy to announce we are moving back to Texas. When we moved to Chicago we knew it would only be for a season.We were confident in the Lord moving us here and still stand by those very words. What we didn't know was how our time in Chicago would play out. The Lord said "GO," we obeyed, and then He revealed his plan to us little by little.
This past year has been one for the books...isn't every year?! God has shown up in big ways and if I was being honest there were many times we asked, " God, where are you?" God has been so good to teach us what it means to be content with our "daily bread."
This is a journal entry I wrote:
"When the waters seemed to be crashing over our heads, when our hearts were desperate, when we couldn't take another disappointment (in the world's eyes), you were there."
As hard as this past year has been, in a multitude of ways, it has been so good. We seem to learn and grow the most in the hard seasons of life. Ryan and I know that first hand. We are thankful for them and at the same time look forward to where the Lord is taking us.
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." Psalm 107:1
We experienced so much living in a big city. Chicago had its worst winter in THIRTY years and yes we got to be a part of that. There were days upon days that were looong and days that seemed so short. We took the kids sledding several times and they loved it. We drove through the unplowed streets of Chicago in blizzard conditions. We stared at snow for almost three months straight. Parka's and stroller blankets were a must. And in the midst of the cold we found ourselves loving the winter... but don't get me wrong it was survival of the fittest. I'm sure you can imagine what it was like with two toddlers in a 900 sq ft apartment. When the windchill is -25 you don't get out...period.
This is a journal entry I wrote reflecting back on those long winter days:
"We witnessed the worst winter Chicago has had in 30 years. When the days were extremely long you continued to remind us of your goodness, your unwavering power to cleanse us of all our sins. Through the constant picture of tiny snowflakes we saw purity. We were reminded of the hope we have in Christ."
Even in the long days, in the days that seemed lonely, God reminded us of His promise...we are His. We have been saved by grace and He promises to care for us.
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow..." Isaiah 1:18
There is so much to a city that you grow to love.
We will miss the homeless people we passed while walking to the grocery store.
We will miss the train rushing by every few minutes.
We will miss the wind hitting our face when we walk outside.
We will miss the sound of sirens in the middle of the night.
We will miss the snow.
We will miss our community that the Lord blessed us with while we were here.
We will miss the parks.
We will miss our small apartment (maybe). ;)
We will miss the hardness of this year. The moments when there was no other choice but to give God praise for his provision.
We will miss the people.
We will miss our home.
Chicago has been our home for almost a year. We are thankful for the time we had here and look forward to our next place we will call home.