I'm in Chicago right now slowly making my way to Maine. I first began my journey up north on Tuesday last week, only to have my attempt blocked. I knew the weather was calling for icy roads, but I wanted to try anyways. I made it a good 75 or 80 miles before I started to fishtail as I went over bridges. As I was coming to the TX/OK border, I saw a flashing sign saying that I-35 was closed ahead. So, I turned around after 90 miles and slip-slided my way back to Arlington. Nearly every overpass I went over for the next 15 or 20 miles, there was a car spun out that had hit the wall or went into the grass. I made it back without any mishaps, but it was obvious I would be waiting a couple days before I made another attempt. I woke up early again the next morning on the off chance the roads had cleared up, but all the news people were freaking out and talking to the audience like they were concerned parents. Finally, on Thursday morning, the roads cleared up sufficiently for me to go. I drove 10 hours through Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska before coming to my first stop, Council Bluffs, IA. I got to spend the evening with the Smiths who I was staying with that night. I enjoyed some good times playing with the kiddos, eating dinner and then going to downtown Omaha.
The next morning, I headed out around 8 after saying goodbyes and made my way across the entirety of Iowa and into Illinois until I reached my second destination, Chicago. I've enjoyed spending some good quality time with Mark, Katrina and Candice which has included good food, gallons of hot tea, and various excursions into the city. I was planning on leaving tomorrow morning, but it looks like it will be snowing across the U.S. between here and Maine for the next 2 days. So, my plan (for the moment) is to stick around a couple more days and leave for Bouckville, NY early, early Thursday morning. I'll be staying with Anne, my friend (from Alaska) Adam's mom and then drive the final leg to Sanford, ME Friday. I'm finding that driving 2000+ miles in the middle of winter is a little tricky, so I'm being patient and enjoying each opportunity I get for rest, quality time and productivity. I'm itching to begin my next season of life in Maine, but I'm not at all bitter I'm getting to spend time with good friends in the meantime.
I'm starting to get used to starting life practically from scratch over and over again. It's both exciting and tiresome. There's new freedom and discovery to be had, but a lot of patience and self discipline needed at the same time. Thankfully, that is the fruit of God's Spirit in us. I'm continually asking God if this pattern is what I should be expecting for the rest of my life. The answer seems to be 'yes' or at least 'for a while'. I'm okay with that, but with each move, I value the things I leave behind more and more. Still, I find so much freedom and power in letting go of what makes sense to my natural self and obediently walking with God. I am confident in God's transforming presence, knowing I am becoming a strong and loving man. I have only the faintest clue of what my new life will be like in Maine, but I know that surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. That's all I need to know for now.