Thursday, October 18, 2012

Overdue Photos {Chicago Life}

I thought I would add {Chicago Life} to the blog post title because this won't be a scrappy post. I am posting some very overdue photos of my digs here in Chicago. Plus some other photos to share of my 'hood and some life updates.

So I apologize, in advance, if you are wanting some scrappy things to look at. You won't find it today. :) But I do hope you stick around because this blog is so much more... it's my LIFE and I love sharing it. Several months ago I posted this post. It contained my story and everything that revolved around my move to Chicago. Included with these photos, I thought it would be time for an update of how things are going and what has happened since the move.

About mid-June, after giving my notice at work and such, I began conversation with a gal who was looking for a roommate. After lots of prayer on both ends, she asked me to move in. Not only that, but her former roommate was leaving behind furniture for me. How awesome is our God? A place to live WITH furniture. And just to keep it going, the rent was under what I had budgeted. Love it.

On July 15th, I arrived at the doorstep with three pieces of luggage. We met for the first time and she showed me around the apartment. Immediately, I knew I was going to love this place.


We went to Target and the grocery store so I could buy a couple pieces of furniture and get some groceries. The next morning, I headed out to Rosemont for Summer CHA. 

Crazy, right? But that's how it went down. I spent the week in Rosemont and then came home. 

I came home.

The following week would consist of waiting for the rest of my boxes - which came about two days late thanks to a train accident - and searching for a job. I sent out tons of resumes and applications to anything and everything. At first, I was trying to avoid teaching preschool. In my mind, I was burnt out. But wouldn't you know God had other plans?

I did a random search online for daycare centers and one popped up. It was faith based, with an adorable website and was easy to find. So I went in, dropped off my resume, had an interview and was hired. All within three days. Wow. God ordained? Yes, I think so! 

I don't believe in coincidence. I don't believe in "the stars aligning" and "fate". 

I believe that there is a God in heaven who loves me, guides me and does so much more! The past few months have made that very clear. Very real. And erased any doubt that I've carried with me over the years. 



So, I found a home and then a job. What was next? A home church. I visited a few churches and thought that I had found the one but still felt like God was telling me it wasn't to be my "home church". As fabulous as the people and teaching was, it just wasn't where He wanted me. After a post on Facebook about church hunting, a friend recommended I visit one called Soul City Church

I went. 

Walked in the doors.

And knew I was "home".

So.

Found a home. A job. My home church. 

Wham. Bam. Boom.

God. Is. Good.


Chicago is so much more than the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier and Millenium Park. Those places are fun, definitely landmarks and great places to check out when visiting. But there is so much more to this city. So many hidden gems and so many people who are searching, longing, needing to know that they are special, loved, forgiven, healed, redeemed and children of GOD! Oh my goodness. So many. 

Each day I have the distinct pleasure of riding the CTA to work. Each day I am challenged to show grace and mercy. But I love how God "introduces" me to folks while riding the bus to work. I don't know names but I know to pray. So I do.


My job is a blessing! While it's not what I want to do forever, nor do I see myself there long term, it is exactly where God needs and wants me right now. I am thankful.

I am also thankful for an amazing group of women that are in my small group. We have only just begun to meet but I can tell that it is already going to be a great time together. Each gal is special and I love that we are from all walks of life. Different ages. Different stages. Tonight, after our group was done, the leader and I sat and chatted for a bit. As we talked, she began to express how she felt like God is preparing something pretty huge in the city of Chicago. He is bringing people from all over the country together and she could feel it in the depth of her soul. I suddenly got goosebumps because that is exactly how I feel. God is on the move here. It seems that everything is s - l - o -w - l -y unfolding. Slowly. But I'm thankful that God isn't rushing everything. I'm thankful for the time to get to know my new home, new friends and express my gratitude to a God who gives me more than what I can even imagine. It's awesome! 

That doesn't mean there have been difficult days. Oh my gosh there have been some very hard days. Days where I have sat in my room sobbing! Leaving behind what you have been familiar with for so long is hard. Leaving behind some very dear friendships, that you have worked hard to build for years, is heart breaking. I know those relationships will never go away but it is not easy when you can't just call up and see that person face to face in a matter of minutes. 


I'm so glad I am here.

I am humbled that God chose me.

I am hoping that I continue to take time to hear His voice and follow where He wants me to go. To say what I need to say, to express what I need to express. I want to be obedient and I want to be bold. 

What a fabulous adventure to be on! 










5 comments:

Kate Vickers said...

Looks like an amazing place to live! Your apartment is charming!

Jen Martakis said...

I love you Melissa. You are such a beautiful person. I'm so glad you are home. :)

chksngr said...

OH, so love this story...LOVE watching how God is unfolding your life...its amazing!

Stacey Michaud said...

sigh...love this!

scrapperjen said...

Chi town is a fun city! We live about an hour west and my sis & bro in law live "in the city". Where is your neighborhood?
Glad things are working out for you.