March 5, 2011

chicago bound

so i've been trying to write this post for a week, but truth is, i'm not all that great at writing and i'm having trouble putting into words just how exactly amazed and ecstatic we are. i'll probably use too many explanation points and smiley faces, but here goes:

james is going to wheaton and we're moving to chicago!!

we got the email only a couple weeks after his interview and about 5 weeks earlier than expected, so we were a bit shocked to say the least. in true james-and-jess style, james calmly turned to me, tossed me his phone, and said read this. he sat shocked, blank expression while i jumped up and down screaming (which i'm sure our downstairs neighbor totally appreciated).

for those of you wondering how in the world we even got started down this path, here the gist - the plan was to move to chattanooga for 2 years for james to get his masters in counseling psychology at richmont and then apply to doctoral programs. well, in december (right before applications were due) we found out that the 6 integrated (christian) counseling programs in the country will only take about 30 hours of a masters program. there was no use in james finishing his 72 hour program here if it wouldn't even count.

so last minute, total shot in the dark, not expecting to hear anything, no real hope, james applied to 3 schools.

and got 3 interviews.

oooh yea. i'm so proud.

i loooove a good adventure. and this is definitely a good one. don't you just love it when God's plan totally blows your plan out of the water? seriously. i'm overwhelmed with what an amazing plan he has for our lives. it's definitely bigger than anything i ever dreamed.

i've had an inexplicable peace and excitement through this whole journey. i know the Lord has been preparing my heart for some time because i've had an incredible peace about 2 things specifically:

1. i hate cold and it's cold in chicago
2. i hate debt and there's debt coming our way

i'm not worried a single bit (this coming from the one who, at 9 years old, was so worried about getting enough sleep at night, that i couldn't sleep at night. my parents had my bed covered in matthew 7 and every other do-not-worry verse in the bible)

the Lord totally cleared a path for us when we moved to chattanooga:
  • we found a crazy cheap apt that we could actually afford
  • our neighbor - that we did not know - let us stay at his house for 2 weeks until our apt was ready
  • i got a amazing job that i did not deserve. seriously. anytime i tell somebody in chattanooga where i work, they ask me how i got a job there. i can only brag on God.

i'm confident that he will do the same when we move to chicago.

it has been so cool to watch james blossom this semester in counseling (do boys blossom? maybe grow? succeed?) either way, every time i talk to somebody at his school, they're bragging on his skills. and he really enjoys all he's learning. it's such an absolute joy to watch because we've been praying for soooo long for direction. mr. ronnie would always ask - what's your passion? all james could say was - people. and we've finally put it all together. he's good at this. he loves it. the Lord has definitely made him for this. why couldn't we figure it out earlier? God's timing is perfect even when we don't understand.

james met the vice-president of richmont last weekend and guess what he said - "so yoooouuur the guy who's leaving us for wheaton - there was weeping and gnashing of teeth in our last faculty meeting over you leaving." we don't understand why it took us so long to figure this all out but i'm so so very thankful that james has something that he's passionate about, that he loves, and that he's good at. it's really a joy.
(he's so going to make me take this out when he reads it. but i can brag for a minute until then :)

so wanna hear the coolest God-thing?
we got the email from wheaton and they said the official packet would be coming in the mail. well, james mentioned to his dad that because of different living expenses, it would be great if i could make $6,000 more in IL. so the official packet comes and some of the shock has worn off so i'm nonchalantly reading through the acceptance letter and


$6,000 scholarship we didn't even apply for. totally unexpected. i mean, do you think God has this under control or what?

my prayer through this whole process has been Psalm 5:8 'lead me, o Lord, in your righteousness, make straight your way before me.' he didn't just make the way straight, he practically lit up the runway for us.

of course, moving emotions come in waves and i'm so sad to leave chattanooga. we have some amazing friends here. my school is ridiculously awesome, the girls i work with are an answer to prayer, james' professors are great, our tiny apt is perfect, the mountain views are my favorite... i love chattanooga. this has been such a sweet time for james and me and i will always look back on it and smile.

it's also sad that we won't be able to hop in the car for a weekend trip back home (although we expect lots of visitors - there's a direct flight from jackson to chicago that's only and hour and a half and pretty inexpensive so it would actually be shorter to fly to chicago that to drive to chattanooga :) family means a lot to us, and it's hard to move away.

but oh. my. goodness. i'm excited to see what's next.

in conclusion (since i'm sure that only my sweet mom and mother-in-law are the only one's still reading this) -

God's plans are so much bigger than ours.

He is so worthy of our trust.

and i'm so excited to see what he's got planned for us next.

i'm pretty sure it won't be boring.


The Gardners said...

I haven't stopped smiling for two weeks for ya'll! I am sooo excited and even more proud of you both! What am amazing opportunity for us to see God working in and through you to accomplish GREAT things in and through you! We are trying to find the best plane milage program around so we can come visit all the time!
Can't WAIT to see you in two weeks!

PS - Grandmom is here and is wearing your slippers and we all LOVE them! She bought a precious peach color robe to match them and the 'outfit' looks precious!

Maggie said...

I have to admit ive been stalking your blog lately waiting for a Chicago post. So cool to read the details of how this all has worked out for y'all. I have to say I completely understand your sense of peace in that God gave me the same thing for our big move to Boston. Can't wait to see what the future holds for y'all in chicago! Love and miss you, Maggie

Lindsey said...

How awesome!!! I just LOVE this post! Made me smile so much! I'm so excited for you guys--congrats to James!

Laura said...

I am so happy for you and James!!! Congratulations! I always love reading your blog to stay up-to-date on what's going on with you and James...keep us posted on all of the wonderful details of your move! Love, Laura

Darla walker said...

Jessica! That is so amazing ! He did it in a way only He can do! And yes there are others that read your blog. I love it! Keep sharing. Congrats!!!!

Eddie said...

I can't say that I am glad you are moving to chicago...but I can say that I am so proud of you and the way you are trusting God in everything!
I love you so much!!!

Anne said...

What a beautifully written, heart warming entry! We are blessed beyond measure- and love you SO VERY MUCH! Anne

Jennifer said...

Congratulations! Reading this brought tears to my eyes at how amazing the Lord is.

Michelle said...

Our God truly is an amazing God--needed to hear that story of his faithfulness today! I'm so excited for ya'll--thanks so much for sharing!!!



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