September 16-20, 1970
The weather continued to be warm and summery, tempting us to take longer walks around the neighborhood. Sometimes we’d hike the mile to Cathy and John’s place and knock on their door unannounced, but they always welcomed us in for cookies and coffee.
Then, as we walked home, we’d rehash the conversation, usually landing on the mounting differences between us. Although we four had always gotten along well, whenever we discussed anything related to Christianity, friction developed.
It was frustrating for all of us as each couple tried to convince the other of a better way to think about life. On our walks, Nate and I wondered aloud where our friendships might be lead.
But on most nights, our evening walks brought nourishment to our marriage. Stepping away from law books, dinner dishes, and teaching prep allowed us to share what was on our minds and stay current with each other. It was also a chance to count blessings.
“What is it?”
“I’ve decided to interview for my first law job in the Chicago area rather than anywhere else.”
“Oh wow!” I said, genuinely elated. “That’s fabulous!”
“I may not find one,” he said, “so don’t get too excited yet, but I’m going to try.”
We stopped walking so I could smother him with kisses. I couldn’t wait to move back to where so many relatives and friends lived.
The last time we’d driven past the city on our way back to Champaign, I’d snapped a photo — quietly hoping I’d one day be able to call Chicago home again.
As we turned back toward our apartment, my feet could hardly keep from skipping. Nate had put his undeserving wife at the top… again… giving me what I wanted most, and I was overwhelmed by his selflessness.
Job hunting in his home town of 30,000 would have been the more comfortable choice, but apparently Nate was willing to comply with whatever Chicago might require. He’d have to learn how to do life in a giant city for the first time — but he was game to try.
And I was thrilled.
Our walk concluded with his statement that the upcoming new semester would be his last in law school. He would graduate in January of 1971. The challenging Bar Exam would follow, two days of demanding tests every grad had to pass in order to practice law. Many didn’t succeed on the first try — something new to worry about.
That night we began praying about the changes coming, each one with heavy decisions attached. And we asked God to please go ahead of us and set things up before we got there – wherever “there” ended up to be.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)