Welcome back. I’m glad you are still with me. If you are new you can catch up and we’ll wait for you. The first day covered our relocation through 4 jobs: New Orleans, North Carolina, Ohio, and Chicago. Day 2 was about our time spent in Chicago and the first connection made in this story. Now we are on to New York City. Here we go.
In the spring of 2005 we were headed back east. There was no way we wanted to live in Manhattan after being in the city of Chicago. They are two completely different beasts. Several factors caused us to land in Stamford, CT. I’m not sure what exactly to say about that part of the country except that it can be a surreal existence at times. There are nearly as many celebrities and corporate executives as there are average joes. I’m part of the latter, but lived just down the road from the former. That will have to wait for another day.
First order of business was to find a church. Let me tell you, that is not the easiest thing to do in certain parts of the country. This would be one of those parts. It took a while but we settled into a small church in Greenwich, CT. Yes, THAT Greenwich. It was very much like being in a church plant. It was there that some very deep friendships were forged over coffee, cupcakes and calendars. I think these three tools are all that’s really necessary for women to change the world!
Over the 4 years I was there, with my amazing friends, we grew a women’s ministry and love for each other that is deep and abiding. Greenwich is where the next link in my chain was made. After we’d been there for a little while an associate pastor for community life was added. With him came an amazing wife and two precious children. This is when Amy met Becky!
Becky is a pastor’s wife (now) with a deep passion for God’s word and encouraging other women. Any given fall day, you might just find her at Starbuck’s with a pumpkin spice latte in hand. I think she would lobby for the first day they are in store as a national holiday. She also shares her passion and her life freely and warmly at Daye by Daye.
Becky and I also shared a deep love for the city of Chicago. She and her husband had both gone to Moody. Our time had overlapped there, but our paths had never crossed even though they came very close at times. We were able to share our city one time. We returned to Chicago at the end of January in 2009. The lovely Daye family spent the afternoon with us at Navy Pier shortly after the New Year in 2010. By this time we totaled 8 instead of 6, each of us adding a little boy. That was just one other pier in the foundation our friendship. This is a relationship that was formed in real life, but has since mainly moved online and to the telephone. It is a strong one and in October we will be like giddy school girls sharing a room at the Allume conference in Pennsylvania.
One note: I feel like I am slighting the other amazing people there by not writing our story. I am hoping to introduce you to more of them in the future. But this is not the time for those stories.
May of 2011 we made our most recent move back to our home state of Virginia. Granted we are still 6 ½ hours away from our family, but we are at least in the same state now. We are in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. surrounded by people and knowing no one. I do have some friends relatively nearby, but connecting with them has been difficult. Things started looking up this past spring. I started hearing about local meetups that would be happening all over the country. I checked the (in)Courage website to learn more. There were towns listed but no takers. I kept checking. Oh how, I wanted to meet people.
THE BIG FINISH
This is where God started to slide the jigsaw pieces together and give me a glimpse at the picture. It was just a peek. The Gypsy Mama had posted on her wall that she was gonna host and who wanted to come? Jill, aka Mrs. Diaper Diaries, tagged me in a response saying that I needed to get in on this because we were close. I did! In April at the (in)RL meetup I had the pleasure of getting to know Lisa-Jo. My chain now had three links.
Lisa-Jo sent an email to me about the (in)Courage community leader applications and told me to pray about it, look it over, and think of a partner. I’ll give you three guesses who? I bet you only need one. At this point the links all connected and I sat dumbfounded at how God had worked for so long, in my mind, for me to fill out an application that took 10 minutes, after discussing with Becky and having her pray as well. These three other women have been placed in my life for such a time as this and now it’s up to me to use that chain.
So 11 years after meeting Jill in Chicago I hit submit on an application that took 10 minutes to complete. The rest is up to God, but already I’ve seen him work in an amazing way. I’m grateful for getting to see this jigsaw puzzle completed – no pieces missing.
Now for the next one…
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord - Jeremiah 29:11