I realized this morning that we've been in Kansas City now for six years. (Admittedly south of KC in Belton for much of that and now in the Overland Park/Leawood area but we claim Kansas City as our own.) With both of us growing up in Michigan, you would think we would consider that home. We lived our childhoods there, spent summers on the lakes, met and fell in love, made ourselves a home and had babies there. Three decades of memories were made in that mitten shaped state.
But without question Kansas City feels like home.
Maybe it's because we love the city. We love all it has to offer our family: the surprisingly rich culture smack in the middle of the US, the good BBQ, and the kindness of midwesterners. We love our jobs. We love our church. And we love the people we do life with.
But really it's because God has done miracles in our family in this city.
When we moved here six years ago, we thought we were moving for a job opportunity for Jamy. We left the first home we had made our own, packed up everything, and left all we knew to embark on an adventure. But those first 18 months here were far from what we expected. Our home took almost 2 years to sell which meant that much time paying for two homes and coming out upside down when it was all said and done. And the job opportunity we thought was a perfect fit and worth moving across country for turned out to be a tremendous disappointment.
We were heartbroken. After 18 months of being in Kansas City in just one hour we had lost a job, our church, our income, and the only community we knew.
But that was only the beginning of the loss. In the next several months our marriage also unraveled.
It looked like our adventure had failed and we needed to head back to Michigan. Little did we know our adventure was just beginning. Because our journey didn't start when we packed up the moving van and drove from Michigan to Missouri. We thought God was calling us to a new state. But he was really calling us into a complete transformation that had more to do with our hearts than our address.
And the journey we were really taking was much more than a thirteen hour drive southwest. Over the next few years, God did miracles in our marriage. We discovered a school for our kids that not only provides an amazing education but also an extended family. We found a community through our church that lives out the gospel in real and tangible ways. We developed friendships that are rich and push us to trust Jesus. I've been blessed with incredible jobs in adoption that have left me doing something I love and honored to be a part of something so meaningful.
For our family, I believe God needed us to leave everything familiar and comfortable in order to do what he needed to in our hearts. To learn about the truth of the gospel and what it really means to trust him. To learn about grace and forgiveness. To learn the freedom of transparency and honesty. To see God's redemption and restoration of our family.
So for us, our move to Kansas City has meant more than a new space to raise our family.
Our move to Kansas City has meant changed hearts, redemption, and miracles.
I'm sure our adventures aren't over. But for now KC will always be the place where Jesus changed everything for our family.