712 miles later, here I am! Snuggled in a corner in my temporary bedroom writing back to all you lovely readers! It feels like such a blur, and I’ve been on quite the emotional roller coaster, but here’s a few updates about the D and what all God has done since being here!
Well, funny story. It wasn’t really working out budget wise with the girls I had hoped to live with (Royal Oak houses are all bungalows which make splitting rent so bizarre). While I did want to live with them because they were super sweet and fun, financially it just wasn’t possible. Anna and Andy Dwyer (a staff couple on my team who are SO close to finishing their initial support) offered for me to live with them until I found housing, or for the year, whatever. I kept saying the “thank you for the offer” thing until I realized they were serious and I was running out of options. So, here I am! I’m living with the Dwyers + pups until God opens up another door. There’s a door wide open in February, but I have to decide if I want to live in the burbs or the city. :) I’m thinking city. #wheninrome
Can I just say I have the best team in the whole wide universe? Not only is one staff couple all “live with us and share our space” but every single person (or couple) on my staff team has called or texted me to invite me to something or has come over to visit. Every one of them. Shoot dog. Talk about feeling pursued and cared for on a team. It’s so needed right now, and I love it.
This week we are going (oh, y’all bless it. I don’t know where we’re going…) somewhere to have a staff retreat and next week we start staff planning for the semester! Wahoo! I’m glad there’s been a little time to adjust without jumping in head first. That would not have been good for me.
While campus ministry hasn’t started, I have been encouraged to see God open up doors to spiritual conversation in the normal things. About a week ago I went to get my oil changed and a man walked in asking for directions then kept talking, and talking, and talking. Somehow he pulled me into the conversation and then brought up something about church and God. So, I began asking a few questions and then the guy at the counter jumps in with his thoughts too. Before we know it, we’re in a conversation about what really makes a person “good” before the Lord. He begins to explain how he’s always been told he isn’t good enough for God and that he’s going to hell. I shared with him the truth of that-that we’re all not good enough and because of our sin we deserve separation from God BUT. God makes us righteous when we put our trust in Him. It’s not us centered. It’s Christ alone who gives us access to the father and who makes us “good enough”. So that was cool! A spiritual conversation and clear proclamation of the gospel in an oil change shop. Haha. I feel so rugged. So Detroit.
Other random things:
My heart was and is still so full from getting to hang with the CalChatt. team while they were in Detroit. It was fun getting to see people I knew, but incredibly sad knowing when they left they went back to a city that I love with a love that overflows from God and community that I so desperately miss. My best friend Elaina said, “It’s okay to grieve the loss of Chatt., but we as believers grieve with hope.” <— that’s why she’s my bestie.
I talked to a good friend Maggie the night they left and we both realized this is the first time I’ve done life without an end point in a long time (close to 15 years). When we moved to Chicago, I knew I would only be there until my high school graduation. College=4 years, but you know five years was fine too. STINT in Senegal=2 year time commitment. Joining staff=however long it took to raise that initial support and then go to my first assignment. This is the first year I don’t have a time cap on life. And that’s very overwhelming. Will God provide sweet community with a church? Will I have that fun friend group of people my age that love Jesus? In faith I say “YES He will,” and He has with my team!
And… I think that’s about it for this update! Prayer points would be: wisdom on housing, for our staff retreat and staff planning week, for community and a church home and…. I think that’s it! :)
Thanks for reading ALL of this.