Honestly, tonight I was just scouring through drawers looking for a misplaced tax form when I ran across the journal the I kept all through 2014.
That was the year that the Lord asked Christian and I to do something extreme. That was the year that He said, "Let's stretch your faith out and see how far you will go." That was the year we dropped everything and went to Greece for a month. Why? Still having pieces of that revealed as time goes on. Did we know what life would look like when we came back? No, but we knew somehow that it would be even more demanding than a Greek faith trip.
And trust me. It was.
By December that year, we were desperate. I, personally, had never felt so low in my life since getting saved.
As I flipped through this journal after its rediscovery, I stopped on the last entry written on the 11th of January, 2015. Here is that entry in its entirety.
"At the beginning of December, the idea hit C and I to look into moving to Chicago. Since Moody's main campus is there he could potentially go for free (or very little) if he's admitted, and I started looking for jobs. I found a lot of jobs there and have been applying to tons. We saw 'Aunt' Carol too, the day after we talked about Chicago. C mentioned our idea to her and he asked if she was renting out the apartment which takes up the whole top floor of her house. She said that she would be so happy if we would rent it because she had been praying for someone to rent it. He asked her how much each month and she said only $300!!! Plus, it's fully furnished and has wifi. She just doesn't have a bed which is perfect because that's all that we DO have!
The problem is that people (or at least many) don't approve of this idea.
So... I'm still waiting for a job, still applying everywhere, trying to believe faithfully and trust. I'm teaching ESL, I'm on the nursery rotation, I'm on the sound booth rotation, and attending Lifeline. In fact, Frances H. asked me to speak at Lifeline next Thursday.
The whole truth is, I'm super tired of this season of life. We are exhausted and ready for a break... a time of calm. I went to ESL registration on Tuesday night and on the way I had a meltdown. I told God that I'd had enough. I'm ready to be done. I know I'm a wuss and not a Job like I thought and asked Him to stop refining us just for a while so that we could have a break. I know and really do believe in His promises. I know He loves us enough to refine us. I know that this will work out for our good. I know He is faithful, loving, gracious and sovereign. Nonetheless, I have broken down too many times. Felt like we've hit bottom so many times. But we just keep falling deeper. I'm tired of inconveniencing people, even though some tell me that it's good because it 'gives people a chance to serve and give.' Still... I don't like it. I don't like going almost 9 months without a place to call 'home.'
God has to do something.
I trust He will. Soon."
One week later, as I was preparing to get up and begin speaking on God's faithfulness even when you're broken at Lifeline, one of the women who allowed Christian and I to live in her home for a few months brought up a piece of mail to me. It was a small envelope with the senders address telling me it was from Moody. Small envelopes are rarely good signs when trying to get into schools... especially ones with long wait-lists.
I opened the letter slowly, afraid of what those first words might be. As I took apart the tri-folded letter, the first words exploded into my eyesight. "Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you..."
The letter was dated the 15th of January. A mere four days after I told God that I trusted Him to do something soon.
Two minutes later, I got up to talk about the faithfulness of God.
I've been reflecting on these last two years in Chicago. God has done amazing things. When I couldn't get a job at any of the nine Starbucks I had applied to in Portland (having worked at Starbucks for 4 years before), I got hired over Skype at one of the top three specialty coffee companies in the world, Intelligentsia. One year later, and I found myself sitting in an office for the first time, carefully combing through Scripture references in John MacArthur's New Testament Commentary.
God gave us a beautiful, huge, bright apartment in exchange for some maintenance work instead of paying rent. He's filled it with people from all over the world almost non-stop. He's given us an amazing church.
And here we are. Christian graduates from Moody Bible Institute in 2.5 months. And today we celebrated my one year anniversary as the editorial specialist at the publishing house.
And due to all this and so much more, the tears come.