On Jumping

Dear friends and family and wonderful people that I know and love,

I have big news.

Three and half years ago, I landed my dream job. I moved into my childhood home. I began to lead the most incredible students in the world.

I built a life in Chicago that has been filled with so much laughter and fun and books and cookies and joy.

But it’s time to move. 

In January, I’m doing something crazy – willingly walking away from a job I love. A home I love. Kids I love. People I love.

I’m leaving the country for (at least) seven months with a backpack, a camera, a notebook, a handful of well-intentioned plans, and the biggest dream to explore the world.

And the logical question I keep asking myself is why? Why am I leaving behind a life that I have so carefully built?

The short answer is this: when God tells you to jump, you jump. Simple as that.

The longer answer gets at the heart of who I am and what I believe.

Because I believe in being present. In investing deeply and fully in the places and relationships around you.

It’s why I’ve spent three and a half years building an adult life in my childhood hometown (and more specifically, in my childhood home). It’s why I built the blue table. And it’s why making the decision to leave has been gut-wrenching and slow and hard.

Because I love my job. But even more than that, I love my people.

I love chatting with my neighbors as I hammock in the front yard. I love sprawling in the living room with my kiddies talking about life and Jesus and next steps. I love living within minutes of my closest tribe. I love working with and for one of my best friends. I love serving in a church that is my family. I love being a part of the best team on the planet.

This life I’ve built? It’s safe and steady and rhythmic and beautifully, wonderfully good. It is full of so much joy. But it is also comfortable. And I don’t think we are called to comfort.

Comfort can quickly become complacent. And complacent turns into stale.

Because as much as I believe in growing roots – deep, interwoven, impossible-to-dig up roots – I also believe in adventure. In challenge. In going big. In trust. In jumping.

So here I am, listening to the stirring in my heart. The little voice saying, “Go.” And I’m going.

I’d be lying to say that this was easy. Every time a friend has asked how I’m feeling, I’ve said, “Both incredibly excited and completely terrified.” And I think that’s how jumping is supposed to feel. Because we don’t know if or how or when we are going to land. But we also might discover that we can fly.

I would love for you to follow along on my adventure – but even more than that, I would love for you to discover an adventure of your own. It might not involve going anywhere, but it should push you and stretch you and scare you a little. Because I’ve found that it’s the scary things that help us grow.

Life was never, ever meant to be boring. It’s an incredible, awesome gift. It’s an adventure. But we have to choose to live it that way.

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