I am spending this week in Colorado for my sister’s wedding. I also just happened to have spent 8 fantastic and wonderful years living in this city just after I graduated from college. At 22 I packed up my Nissan Sentra hatchback with everything I owned and hit the road for a new adventure. (I started said road trip at noon because my college girlfriends and I had one last evening together before all leaving so I slept in)
I lived in multiple apartments, shared houses with a variety of girlfriends, learned how to ski, hiked and camped in the most extraordinary places on earth, met my husband, had my first baby, and then (dum, dum, dum) moved to the (swallow hard) suburbs of Chicago.
Our move was mostly motivated by parenthood. We were just too far from family and could not even imagine our kids not knowing them. Well, also, they kept coming out and staying with us for 10, 11, 12 days at a time and we sort of thought higher frequency, shorter duration was the key to successful parental relations. (It is by the way)
And now here I am back in the place where I lived. But more than that. I spent 8 years planning a life here. I imagined my 2.2 children, my husband. I lived near Washington Park, a very trendy place to live, and aspired to one day have a home there.
I’m currently sitting here, having some tea, enjoying the sunshine, in my sister’s house. Guess where she lives? Washington Park.
Yeah, maybe it’s unavoidable that I’m having some “WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED. TO. MY. LIFE?” moments.
But I know what happened to my life. Jesus.
I left out the single biggest experience I had in Denver. I got smacked in the face by the creator of the universe a year before we moved and He’s slowly doing a number on me.
I didn’t imagine much of my life as it is today. But there’s nothing about me that can be undone. I can not stop thinking about orphans. I can’t all of a sudden pretend I don’t care about them. I can not unsee the things I have seen in other countries. Watching kids dig through garbage dumps in Ethiopia will never leave me.
I can’t squelch my desire to see people of wealth brought together with those who have less so that each can learn from the other.
I can’t exactly get rid of any of these children. (although if this was to come about, I am constantly ranking them in order of who goes first. It changes daily)
I am no longer the woman I thought myself to be all those years I was living in Denver.
Here’s my sister’s house.
15 years ago it cost something close to 400,000.
I really really want to pretend that I could fit 7 children into that house and we would love every minute of it. Ha.
I mean, does this baby fit into the drive way?
So here I am. Thinking about that girl who was so blind and uninformed.
Yeah, you couldn’t pay me to go back and be her again. No way.
I can see God’s will for me in the suburbs of Chicago. I have the best friends of my life right now that bring me closer to Him all the time. I have a great church that would be hard to replace. My children are growing up around other people who are just as crazy for Jesus as I am…..to the point that they have asked me “Why don’t we do stuff for Jesus like so and so?” I’m trying kids…really. But this is as far as I can be stretched right now. 🙂
Following Jesus is always an option. Always. Even now, after all this time, I can choose something else over His desires. He’ll still love me if I drop it all and move to Breckenridge. But Colorado won’t ever be the same for me if He wasn’t the one that moved me.
So I think I’ll stay where I am. And I’ll wake up every morning and ask Him “Why here? What do you want me to do today?”
And I will give thanks for all the blessings Chicago brings to me every day. Well, everything that is except the weather.