God. He’s funny.

My thoughts last week: I’m plodding along, getting ready for a big move to Seattle in 6 weeks. I’ve researched and researched about the city. I know what organic produce co-op I’ll join. I know which church I’ll join. God invited Jack and Iout of going with the people I had originally expected to go with, but, that’s okay, I am now working out how to make it alone. It’s killer expensive, but I’ll get a job where Jack can come with me because WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN. God’s behind this move 100%, and I’m ready to walk into a place with open spaces to discover where exactly God wants me to be leading my family.

Then I get a small, sweet little email from my sister in law. It says something along the lines of, “Hey Lauren. I know you’re all geared up to go to Seattle…but we could really use you in Chicago. I mean, is it Seattle you are after or starting over again? Cuz I think we’d be good for each other right now. I thought I shouldn’t write this, but everyone told me to. Love you. Good-bye.” Something like that.

I smiled at it. Sweet Charlotte. But, of course, Seattle is right around the corner. I can’t change now. Sure, I’m not going under the same circumstances as what made me excited about Seattle in the first place. Sure, it’s so expensive we’ll be eating beans and rice 4 nights out of 5. Sure, I can’t find a stinking affordable and safe place to live, and it’s really hard to be looking from 2000 miles away. But wonderful, loving, helpful people had contacted me from this blog to offer their help (In fact, I’m going to have to come out there some time and we’ll all have a “the time Lauren almost moved to Seattle” party where everybody meets each other and I go around and hug everyone over and over).  So…I ignored her email.

But, for some reason, the sweet email stayed stuck in my mind like a tiny splinter in the fat part of your finger. Then my mother in law came in town. I heard her talk about Chicago. And…I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to ditch Seattle and be with Nate’s family in Chicago. I imagined living with my sister-in-law and us talking about life, about Nate, about anything. I imagined Jack playing with his 2 little cousins, and them starting small neighborhood fires and burning down a house or two. I imagined working for Coffee Ambassadors and helping poor farmers in Guatemala and Honduras. And, honestly, for selfish reasons, I imagined Jack and I being wanted there. I imagined us being loved and having a place. All the sudden, Chicago didn’t seem like such a bad idea after all.

I think, I pray about it. I go out to dinner with some old friends last night. They tell me they want to give me something to help me move. That something turns out to be $640. I’m flabbergasted at their generosity. I cry. I go home. This morning, I check the Penske site to see how much it would cost to move my things to Chicago. I kid you not. $640!! Is that not amazing? Yay for not having to re-buy everything I already own. Aaaand, my sister in law, Jack and I will share an apartment which makes it so we only have to eat rice and beans ONE night a week! Yay. Ha ha. I’m just kidding. But it’s so much more affordable than the whole “single mother forging her way through the vicious city alone” thing.

Happy sigh of relief.

I don’t care where God takes us. He’s been telling me since the beginning “It’s not the location, Lauren, it’s the people.” I thought He meant other people I would meet, and was telling me not to care about the loneliness of the location. Seattle was not the location. My family, Nate’s family, Jack’s family were the people. There’re probably more people, too. Okay, I get it now, Lord. I think. :)

Sometimes, I guess to get from Point A to Point B, God has to throw a curve ball. Maybe He does it because there are lessons to be learned from going the longer way around. Maybe it’s because Satan tries to block the way so we can’t see Home base. Maybe it’s because we’re dumb. Most likely, it’s a little of all three. I’m a lot less surprised at the curve balls than I used to be. Good. Maybe that means I’ve made progress in this thing called life.

Jack and I are taking a vacation to see some good friends out in San Francisco this week. I’ll probably write about how we are moving there when we return…Oh geez. We’ll see you in a few days.