Well, the time has almost come. In 30 days we will load our belongings into a U-Haul truck and schlep them 35 miles east to the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.
We’ve been talking about this move for most of the year. We are excited to live in a space known for its diversity—something like 60,000 people within a 2 mile radius representing hundreds of nationalities and dozens of languages. We are looking forward to sampling the range of local eateries and learning about new cultures and lifestyles.
We’ve tossed around the lighter concerns: What will life be like in the city? How long will it take to make new friends? Will we find a great produce market like we have now in Valli Produce and Caputos? Where will we live? Will we have to endure battle with four/six/eight legged creepy crawlies in our new apartment? Will we be able to afford an apartment in Rogers Park? Will Susan ever get used to all the noise and concrete? Will Susan ever get the hang of parallel parking or should we just invest in business cards with our auto insurance and contact information to leave on the windshield of all the vehicles scraped and nicked in the process?
Then the more serious considerations: bearing in mind everyone is feeling the pinch in this down economy will Rob be able to raise enough support to provide a full salary? Can we make it on one income in the meantime? Will we be able to maintain relationships with the many people we have grown to love like family at Bloomingdale Church after we move? Will Susan adjust to the hardness caused by self-preservation and lack of trust that is projected by many dwellers in urban areas without succumbing to the hardness and detachment herself? Will we be effective in the ministry God is calling us to? Will we be able to love people in the ways God is calling us to love? Though we may not always be able to relate to the life experiences of people we will encounter, will we be able to walk alongside them in ways that communicate (and demonstrate) openly and honestly and unconditionally, “Hey, we care. We care because you matter to God. We are here for you.”
The past couple of months have been a bit bumpy. It seemed that one negative happening after another occurred. All of the apartments we viewed were too small, too far from the Center or just too expensive—were we going to have to (significantly) sacrifice comfort for affordability? At the same time we encountered a series of repairs to both our vehicles followed by a new starter for Rob’s truck. It was during this time that Susan’s car bit the dust and needed to be replaced. Add to this a financial crisis for dear friends of ours requiring attention and assistance. All of this contributed to a pretty significant depletion of our savings…our safety-net and cushion was removed. It was as if God was asking if we trusted him, really trusted him enough to provide. “Yes,” was our reply. “We are committed to walking with You. In Your time, all things come to pass.”
Then, poof! Within one week the pieces fell into place. A new car, a beautiful apartment and a new job for Susan all within 7 days!
Our New Apartment is beautiful. and large. and bright. and, on the third floor—a built in work out everyday. It is four (count them, four: 1, 2, 3, 4!) blocks from Susan’s new job and one (count it, one: 1!) block from Rob’s work at Family Empowerment Centers. Not a bad commute, eh?
“Our” New Car: Toot, toot! Wew, wew! Cute, cute! Compact and perfect for parallel parking!
Susan’s New Job: Susan will be working for a program that provides rental subsidies to senior citizens in the Rogers Park and Lake View neighborhoods of Chicago. Susan will be working for the same company, just transferring to a different department, and as such is able to keep our health insurance and benefits! (Wo-hoo!)
What generous blessings and a wonderful hug from God, indicating to us we are on the right track. 🙂
(A little instructional video for all of you who may happen to struggle with parallel parking.)