As I sit at my desk three days before Christmas looking out the window at the clear blue sky and crisp white snow, I’m struck by how much my life has changed in just a year. One of the biggest changes being all this snow outside my window! Charlotte, NC only got this kind of snow once in the seven years we lived there but it is quite the norm here in northern Illinois.
Last winter, my husband and I knew God was leading our family into the wild world of church planting but where He was taking us or when we might get there was still unknown. This winter, we have found ourselves in Gurnee, IL where we have already had a month of services at the Warren Campus of North Point Christian Church. Last year, I would never have dreamed of living just north of Chicago, yet now I’m in love with not only the area but the people here as well.
Last winter, we were living with friends because our home had sold before it was ever put on the market. This winter, we are settling into our new home that has truly been a blessing from God. A year ago, I said good-bye to some of my best friends while wondering if I would ever have relationships like these again. Now God has opened up more doors for relationships then I ever thought possible.
Last Christmas, I was still adjusting to having a toddler who could walk. Not only does she walk now, but she talks in full sentences! Last winter, while we lived in Charlotte, I could have gone outside in a light coat. Now I wouldn’t dare go outside without my wool coat, scarf and gloves on!
But most importantly, I did not fully understand how God could stretch my faith in just 12 months yet I’m amazed at how much I have grown in my relationship with Him.
This past year has been a whirlwind for our family from moving halfway across the country to being a part of this new church work but through it all, God has shown me again and again how much He loves me, how much He cares about the little things, and how much bigger his picture for my life really is. The verse that has encouraged me the most this past year is one I memorized back in elementary school, but this year it has finally found its way to my heart. Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, says the Lord. ‘They are plans for your good and not for disaster, to give you a hope and a future.'”
In many ways, my life this past year has not been what I would have expected. But then again, as a church planting wife, it usually isn’t and I would not want it to change one bit. As you look through the window of this past year, how has your life as a church planting wife been different then what you had anticipated and what has God taught you through the unexpected things?