This Christmas will be the third one we celebrate in our current house. It is our dream home. For some it may be old and outdated, but to us it is home – the white house on the corner. We prayed for it for years. Hope was deferred but dreams were fulfilled just before Thanksgiving of 2014.
I was nearly bursting with pregnant belly as we happily grasped the gold key to our new home sweet home. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Two weeks later our youngest was born following a painful, but mercifully short, labor that left us barely making it to the hospital. Three days more and we brought her home. Her little sister held her.
Another two and a half weeks passed and we were celebrating Christmas. The first for our little baby girl, the third for our big girl, and the first for all of us in our dream home. Now, two years and three Christmas’s later, and we are being told to say goodbye.
The white house on the corner will become someone else’s home. Someone else will host Thanksgiving dinner here. Another family’s children will come rushing down the stairs on Christmas morning with childish anticipation. Perhaps, even, another baby will be carried through the green front door to its first night in its first home.
Leaving this home is hard. Leaving the state we have come to know and love is hard. But that’s not the worst. People. People have made this place home. Friends have crossed the threshold, companions have cried together in grief and joy, family has nestled in for a night or two down the hall, and everyone has filled it with laughter and love.
We aren’t just leaving a home, but leaving a community that is family, a church that is family, and family that is most precious. It is hard. And God’s direction leaves us scratching our heads. But while heads turn and question and wonder, our hearts are being profoundly opened – opened to a place we would never have dreamed we would call home.
Chicagoland, I’ve learned, is what they call it. A sprawling crowded space made up of interstate, cultural diversity, and the bitterest of colds. This was not in our plan. In fact, I specifically remember telling God (and my husband) that I wouldn’t move anywhere north of Tennessee. I suppose I should have known then. I suppose I should have recognized that in that very declaration God was telling me exactly what He was going to do.
I have no idea why God chose Chicago for us. I’d really like to know the answer. I’m sure, though, that’s it not because He hates me and He wants to see me freeze. And it’s certainly not because He doesn’t care. The truth is, His reason doesn’t matter (although it’d still be great to know…).
He is Good. Therefore, He does good. He cannot do anything but good. And that is reason enough.
So, to Chicago(area) we are moving. It is happening fast and my heart is breaking in the process. Saying goodbye stinks. There’s no way around that. But here we go, nonetheless. Say a prayer and send WARM gifts. :)
“If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.” – Charles Stanley
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