January : Januar Ice, snow, and record temperatures in Chicago. Josh and I decided to pursue the opportunity which had been presented to us in November—to serve as communications coordinators in Berlin, Germany! After a blur of personality tests, theological questionnaires, doctor visits, and reference forms, we submitted our application materials to ReachGlobal.
We both ache to explore a new environment together, to tell the stories well, to finally have the luxury of devoting our waking, working hours to creative endeavors. Is this what you have for us, God? Are we ready to leave our friends and church to immerse ourselves in German culture?February : Februar Josh and I packed our suitcases and drove to icy Minneapolis for three days of interviews. The ReachGlobal staff made us feel affirmed and deeply cared for, and we left with a sense of peace.
– 29 January 2014
March : März We were accepted as long-term staff members with ReachGlobal!
April : April I spent weeks rehearsing a cantata to be performed at a Maundy Thursday service, and Holy Week stirred my soul for the first time in years. I turned twenty-four. Josh surprised me with a gorgeous hotel room in downtown Chicago and a brewery tour in Wisconsin. (Yes, I'm a good German.)
May : Mai Josh and I took another trip to Minneapolis for an intense week of training. Later in the month, my dad came to visit us in Chicago!
We have truly turned a corner in this journey. From today onward, nothing will be the same.
– 10 May 2014
July : Juli Josh and his dad took a trip to the West Coast and I continued working full-time at Moody. It was a relatively quiet month, complete with plenty of grilling, porch-sittin', and late nights with friends. Josh and I booked our flights to meet the Berlin team!I kind of resent that You're asking us to do this—approach family and friends and coworkers and churches for money. It is strange and uncomfortable and almost... impetuous. I keep finding myself glaring at You with a knot in my stomach, hating every minute of this.
– 02 June 2014
August : August Josh's sister got married in Maryland! One week later, we were off to Berlin to meet the team and explore the city. It was our first time visiting Europe (let alone Germany), and we absolutely loved it. You can view some of my photos from the trip here.
I want to run away from You and Your call and Your care but you have gripped me. The liturgy, the melodies, the warmth in the eyes of a friend, the stories handed down. Despite my doubts and fears and guilt and anger, I think my heart still beats for You.October : Oktober Josh and I worked through a six-week, online class for ReachGlobal. As the days grew darker, time spent within my close community seemed all the more life-giving. I began to realize just how deeply I am rooted in Chicago.
– 09 September 2014
These days seem tender. Tonight I flipped through my ever-growing binder of sheet music from our church to read the words and liturgy, and I paused occasionally to sing some of the songs. Then, I started. Pangs of grief shot between my lungs, and I glanced at the map on our wall. I measured with my eyes the inches between push pins, the miles between Chicago and Berlin. The romance of the adventure has cooled in my heart, at least for tonight. I don't know if everything is going to be okay. I pray for courage, for peace of mind, resilience and renewed love for You.
– 06 October 2014
December : Dezember While Josh was away, I took time to reflect on our trip to the South, on the past few years, on the diverse experiences which have beautifully layered under my feet to hoist me to this new ledge. Josh returned safely home to me, and we settled in for a quiet Christmas in Chicago.
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