If you are still with me at this point, you may be wondering where in the world I am. Read the full story from yesterday. Here’s a quick progression of our moves in order: New Orleans, North Carolina, Ohio, and Chicago. That’s where we pick up today.
In April of ’01 we packed up our pared down belongings and headed west to Chicago. I’d been there once or twice and really had no idea what I was in for other than wind and cold. We were blessed with corporate housing just over from the John Hancock building while we searched for a permanent home. Talk about getting spoiled!
Part of every move has been finding a new church home. I had no idea what that would be like in a city of this size. I think the general impression is that city-dwellers just generally don’t attend church. Interesting in that one of the most well-known churches and its college are there – Moody Church and the Moody Bible Institute. We didn’t end up there, but it does play a role in this story so it’s worth a mention.
After a few hits and misses we ended up at a church with no building of its own and no formal affiliation with any denomination. Both of these things were new to us. We had been directed to Park Community Church by the pastor of another small church we had tried. This would end up being a decision with huge impact. The church was large by our experience and very single! The first Christmas we were there was eye-opening. The children’s program consisted of about 15 kids ranging from 2-13 years of age on stage. Nearly all were children of the staff or elders.
Then it started, only I didn’t know then it had started. Someone decided to start a married couples group. We planned to go out to a local Chinese restaurant for dinner. There were 5 or 6 couples who showed up! This was out of a church of several hundred. This is where I met Jill, later to be known as The Diaper Diaries gal. Then I only knew her as the girl with the amazing voice who sang at church. (I hope I’m remembering all of this correctly. A lot has happened since then.) The group didn’t meet very often, but there was at least passing familiarity. Seeing faces you recognize is huge in a city and at a big church. I eventually got plugged into a small group with other amazing women, but that isn’t part of this tale. It is important to note that I crave knowing others and being known by them. I am an extrovert.
At this same time, I was starting interior design school downtown. It was a grueling 5 semesters that ended with an Associate’s degree. I worked as a product rep for a summer before getting a job in a small commercial firm in the Loop. This is where I got to know Mr. Diaper Diaries better. There was a meeting scheduled with the rep from a major systems furniture company. The name was familiar; could it be the same person? It was! Over the next year I got to know him and, subsequently, Jill better.
Then it happened again! There was another bank merger. After 4 years in this amazing city that I had resisted, we would be heading east. This time it was the Big Apple calling.
Come back again to see God’s hand filling out this application for me.