After I tell people I’m moving to Chicago, I can predict their response with about a 90% accuracy rate. Allow me to re-enact a conversation for you.
Kate: “I’m moving to Chicago.”
Other Person: “Wow! That’s an expensive place to live.”
Other common responses include: “Their traffic is terrible,” “I could never survive in the city,” “Have you heard the latest crime report?”
I write that with abundant love and grace, because to be honest, sometimes, I’m the one who starts rattling off the reasons this move feels risky. For weeks as I shared the vision for life and ministry in Chicago, the next words out of my mouth had something to do with the cost of living.
Talk about high rent.
It will cost more to live there than Mae Sot, for sure.
I don’t know how I will pay for everything.
Jesus will have to provide because that place is expensive.
After a few weeks of this, the Father and I talked about this calling, the dreams He’s placed in my heart, my love for the people on the north side of Chicago. And we talked about the money, because I always bring it up with Him.
In that conversation, He asked me a simple, unsettling question. “Kate, why are finances the first thing you mention? Who are you trusting?”
His question felt like tough love that both knocked the air from my lungs and wrapped me in a hug. It was a moment of being called out and called higher—an invitation into deeper and deeper confidence, greater trust, and bold, confident faith.
Bold, Confident Faith
Here’s the thing, all of my responses to life in Chicago are true. Chicago is expensive. The traffic is rough, with busy and crowded streets. The winters are bitter, and yes, crime is very real.
Still, kind, generous people fill this city. Their footprints carve the sidewalks as they go to work or bus stop or train. And God has asked me to move into their neighborhood and has invited me to step a bit deeper into this thing called faith.
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
Hebrews 11 is a chapter that captivates and challenges me. Years ago, I underlined its verses and circled each time the phrase “by faith” appears. These days, I find myself in it more and more, because in it are the stories of ordinary people who chose faith over fear and doubt and worry. And theirs was an active faith. They walked; they followed even when details were fuzzy, the road was unknown, the promise was impossible to see.
Their faith carried the promise, and their bold faith proclaimed the promise with confidence.
Our Faith Carries the Promise
I don’t believe faith is blind. It doesn’t live in ignorance, ignoring the difficult. Trust me, I know Chicago is expensive. It’s worlds different from my Amish country home. I’m aware of the crazy traffic, the long commutes, the tiny apartments. I get it. Moving to the city will be a massive transition.
But faith carries the promise, and bold faith proclaims the promise with confidence.
This Advent season, I am reminded of the promise and the bold, confident faith which proclaimed the promise so long ago. To many, this faith was crazy. Yet generation after generation carried the promise until it arrived in the most unusual form—a baby born in a barn.
Each person in Hebrews 1 boldly—not blindly—carried that promise. Abel carried it with him to the altar. Enoch lived with it each day as he walked with the Father. Abraham swung it over his shoulder when he moved to a new country. Sarah felt it in her body, trusting a miracle to come from what seemed broken.
And we carry the promise too, whatever that means for us. With confidence, with bravery, with boldness, we hold the promise and walk in trust. We boldly proclaim the promise, not apologizing for the faith the Father has asked us to hold.
Like Simeon and Anna and the wise men and the shepherds.
The faith we hold is a gift. It’s sacred. May we carry it with bold confidence and watch it carry the promise.