thriving awaits

So I graduated from Moody Bible Institute on May 13. Of course, I’ve been asked, “What’s next?” countless times over the last year. So here’s what’s next and NOW…

Photo May 13, 15 41 30.jpg

On May 1, I moved out of my on-campus apartment with Andreea and Aleana and moved to Buena Park, part of Uptown, on the north side of Chicago. A lot of hustle and craziness and hard work went into getting this apartment. In January and February, I was a nervous wreck as I was thinking through what was next and what I wanted to do. Firstly, I realized I had just been thinking about this for months. Had I been aware of my abiding in Christ and seeking His heart? I had forgotten who I was and this sent me nervous and afraid of what was next. Through prayer and the wisdom and counsel of others, I stayed planted and decided to stay in Chicago for the next year. Out of the Lord’s good and perfect plan, He orchestrated that Chloe, Gaby, Leah, Aleana, Casey and I would live together. Through different seasons and subleases, we would begin looking for a place to call home.

After loads of searching on Zillow, we compiled a google doc of possible apartments and began the viewing process. We went to view our (now) apartment and immediately fell in love. Regardless of the beauty and charm of our place, we were so drawn to our home as it would allow us to do just what we wanted for this next year. All of us chose the hard thing and the not-so-ideal thing to live with multiple girls as we all had just graduated from undergrad with the purpose of living intentionally, with each other and with our neighbors. Being in a big city, it’s easy to live among your neighbors and not know them or enter into their lives, to walk into a coffee shop everyday and not know the barista, to go into work and just know your coworker with their uniform on. As hard, inconvenient, and uncomfortable as it may be at times, we all have committed to staying and being rooted and planted here in our home and in our neighborhood that’s not glamorous to enter into people’s lives and love our city.

So that’s living. But, what about work? Well, from my understanding, it’s a bit unusual for the college grad to land their dream job out of college. I had some interviews for full-time positions in what I thought was my dream job throughout the semester, and I didn’t get it. What would have been devastating, was funnily enough not at all. Throughout the interview process I just knew that this was not at all what God had for me. As much as I knew I would love the job and thrive in it, I knew it wasn’t what God had for me.

Toward the end of March, I began applying for loads of jobs. I believe I applied to at least 35. From coffee shop jobs to restaurants to assistant work, I applied for everything and anything. Several interviews, emails back and forth, and opportunities, I got a job at Whole Foods in Edgewater as a cashier. At first, I wasn’t so jazzed about the opportunity, but as I sat there and was offered a job I smiled as I realized this was exactly what I had desired. I committed to spending this next season in Chicago living in this neighborhood getting to know my community and know them in their everyday lives. What’s more “everyday life” than grocery shopping?! Now, I’m aware this isn’t the fantastic, post-grad dream job, but I honestly love it. Standing on my feet all day, working with people I wouldn’t normally rub shoulders with, and having conversations with people from all walks of life all day long…I’m learning a lot. And I love it!!

I can hardly believe it’s been a year since I left for my internship with Josiah Venture in Croatia. I had no idea how much I would fall in love with this place, these people, all of it. I’d be lying if I said I’m not sad I won’t be there this next year. My heart breaks a bit knowing I will miss camp this year and so many other things. Throughout the year, the writing of my senior thesis, and abiding in Jesus, I have grown more and more fond of, excited about, energized by, and desiring of doing life in Croatia for the glory of Jesus. I am SO overwhelmingly excited about all that God is doing there and I am so ecstatic that He is inviting me to be a part of it. So some days when I make my commute to work on the Lake Shore path along Lake Michigan, I may be daydreaming that I’m biking along the Adriatic, and I know the day will come when that is reality, but I’m excited to learn and live HERE now. This is one beautiful journey that Jesus has me on. I am excited to be back in Croatia in the future and see that dream come to reality.

I am speechless at the Lord’s grace and there’s MUCH to say but I wanted to just post a cluttered, less-than-graciously written post for now. I could write about all that I’ve learned over the last four years at Moody (and that post will come) but for now, this is a little snapshot into life now. Yesterday as I was biking to work, all I could do was smile as I said, “Thank you Jesus that I get to do this and you are inviting me into this beautiful story.” Things are far from perfect and put together, but He is writing my story and I am so, so glad to follow His lead.

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