Bye, Puerto Rico. Hello, Chicago.

I don’t even know how to begin.

Short version: I’m moving out of my little island and to the windy city, Chicago. And it was all God.

BEACHTOLAKE

Long version: Brace yourself…

A few months ago, the Lord revealed to me that he wanted me to move out of my home. Not because of any problems I was having, but because He wanted me to experience Him in a whole new way: in the quiet, in the stillness, in a place where it would be only Him and me.

Numerous scriptures concerning a period of “exile” in my life flooded me. It was constant, definite, sure.

Fast forward two weeks ago. I was having probably the toughest weeks I have ever experienced. Numerous doors seemed to close. What He had spoken seemed dim and far away. Some of these doors?

  • I was called to move, but some things needed in order for that to happen were just NOT happening.
  • I was called to focus on my music and spend time on it, yet my guitar – the one I had spent most of my savings on, and that I bought specifically for ministry – broke. A second time. Right after getting it back from getting “fixed”.
  • On top of that, I saw my grandmother die, my health faltered to the point where I couldn’t even walk and almost went into a “shock” because of physical exhaustion…and that’s just a portion of other things that were also happening that laid a very heavy weight in my heart.

Yet, it was not only the worst week, but the best.

The worse because of circumstances. The best because of God’s intensity.

He spoke to me EVERY day. Comforted me Himself. Encouraged me. Shed light. I felt SO covered by His love. Not once did He forsake me.

Before getting into details to the powerful revelation and opened doors that followed this week, let’s go back a bit.

Two years ago, in 2011, God spoke to my heart a couple of things that would happen in the upcoming years. One of them? Well, here’s an exerpt from my blog at that time:

June 13, 2011. 12:53 p.m.

 I just felt like I need to write all of this down so I won’t forget. I received a new revelation for my life. God put in my heart 2 years. Something will happen in two years.

 Submerged in prayer, the Lord gave me this Scripture in Genesis 12:

“Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you”

June 2011-  Haiti missions trip.

  • Day 4: Words spoken to my heart: “2 years“.

  • Day 5: As I was teaching in a school up in the mountains, our Haitian translator, Brisso, said to me: “What if God calls you to move: would you do it?”

  • Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

I was not happy to be back. I cried so much. Then, as I prayed, God gave me an unexplainable peace. “It’s not your time yet”.

Then I remembered : 2 years.

 Even with all of this, I still prayed for confirmation and guidance. Back in my room, I wanted to do a bible study on Psalms. Yet, I could not concentrate. It was like the Lord was tugging at my heart to go to Genesis. I did not want to read Genesis for some odd reason, but I thought ….”maybe He has something for me there”..

 Opening to Genesis, I saw a scripture that was highlighted. It was the scripture that He gave me in March, before the trip! I had completely forgotten about it.

 Genesis 12: 1

“Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you”

 Coincidence?

The two years have passed. It’s 2013.

In the precise month of June, I prayed one of the most intense and heart-wrenching prayers I had ever prayed in my life. And it contained only two words.

“Yes, Lord.”

In tears, I told God i would say “yes” to everything and anything He would call me to. I had no idea how powerful God’s presence would dwell upon me at that moment as it did – and I would have never imagined what it would cost me. But I knew that praying this meant something. I just knew something would happen.

An excerpt from my journal:

June, 2013

Oh boy. I don’t think I counted the cost of being a disciple, or being like Christ, until now. I’m scared, yet I’m ready and willing. Yesterday, crying my eyes out, I said “Yes, Lord”.

And this is just the beginning. I lay my life down, surrender, bow down. Though I may lose many things I treasure; I know His glory, love, provision and fullness will far outweigh the circumstances of my day. I know I was called to this. I’ve always known. And it’s time.

A few days later from saying these two words to God – and really meaning them – I was led in my daily reading of the word to Ezekiel 12:3 – “…leave your home to go somewhere else”. And it talked – once again – about an exile.

This would be a never-ending blog post if I were to write down all God spoke concerning this new period in my life. Let’s just say, I started my journal in June, and I’ve already got 80-something pages filled out with scripture, words of encouragement and events where God has spoken. It’s not a “today I woke up and this happened” type journal, it’s strictly just me documenting my walk with God.

Ok. Now to what happened.

After the horrible week I had that I told you about in the beginning of this post, I was to go to Chicago for vacation with my family. Vacation. Nothing more, nothing less.

PARKPRTOPARKCHI

At the beginning of the week (Sunday/Monday), my sister explained how she wanted to work for the summer, so I started helping her find a job. For her, not for me.

Nevertheless, I felt a tug in my heart.

“Look for a job”

I’m not looking for a job.

“Look for a job”

I’m not moving. No.

“Look for a job”

Fine.

I do an easy search, and the first posting that appeared had as requirements my exact experience.

But I didn’t apply.

“Apply for the job”

No.

“Apply for the job”

Lord…..*sights*

On Tuesday, I updated my resume and applied for the job. I also sent resumes to other companies I found later. I had no expectations whatsoever.

Nonetheless, at night, a good friend wrote to me, saying:

“You know, I was praying and…I think you are leaving Puerto Rico.”

Freak out mode: ON. I had not even mentioned the fact that I had applied to any job.

OLDSJTOCHI

I pray: “Lord…if this is really you, have “x” (name of company where I met exact specifications) write to me tomorrow morning…”

Ok. Let’s review the probability of this – or anything relating a job interview process – happening.

It was the 4th of july week. I applied tuesday afternoon. Wednesday would be the only day to do anything, because:

Thursday: 4th of July

Friday: Day off for most companies

Saturday: No work

Sunday: I’m back in Puerto Rico

My “window” was Wednesday, and interview processes usually last a lot more than a day.

I wake up Wednesday morning. Brush my teeth. Check my e-mail.

Ohmygoodness.

I had received an e-mail from the exact company I had prayed for the night before. They asked me if I could come in for an interview the following week.

“See Lord? I’m not gonna be here. Oh well! … I will call and explain. But anyways…if this is REALLY you, have them reschedule for today at 3 p.m.

I call them up, explain the situation.

“We completely understand…how about we reschedule for today at 3 p.m.?”

SANDALSTOBOOTS

Freak out mode: HIGH. I could not believe what was happening. And the thing is, I didn’t even have any clothes for an interview, as I was only going on vacation! And yet, another “coincidence”. My sister had a brand new dress that she had never used. Perfect for an interview. My mom suddenly had some shoes all the while saying she had NO idea why she brought them along. I had the outfit.

Oh, and to top it off, the day before I had also gone to a beauty salon to do my hair. The “coincidences” were piling up.

As I’m making my way to the interview, I start praying that I wouldn’t have peace there.

“Oh God, help me feel uncomfortable. Not at peace. Out of place. Please! So I KNOW this is not of you. Pleaase.”

I get there: total and complete peace. Ugh.

I was there to do only one exercise as phase 1 of the interview process. Yet, I ended up passing not one, but two exercises…and four interviews. They stayed overtime just to be able to interview me. There are many details concerning this interview process, but I can honestly say that God gave me supernatural peace and wisdom to answer each and every question. I left there completely in shock of all God had done. The following week was filled with confirmation, lots of arguing with God (lol) and confrontation from God to me.

Weren’t you just singing “Where You go, I go?”. Worship without obedience is meaningless. Weren’t you singing the song Oceans, that says:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wonder

And my faith would be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior…

By Friday, I had already understood the reasons why so many doors closed in the weeks before — and why so many doors opened later on. Though fear crept in often, God reassured me with countless verses like these:

“Although I have scattered you, I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile.” Eze 11:16

“If I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strenght will support me” Psalms 139:9-10

Everything was falling into place with no effort from my part. God was just taking care of all the details. For instance, the company was able to contact my references in a day — even a professor that was vacationing in Canada at the moment and just happened to open up her e-mail and and took the time to recommend me.

Friday, I get this verse in a daily devotional:

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you TODAY…The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:13

After getting this verse, I get an e-mail.

I got the job.

MUG

 

What has happened these days and the way God has – once again – taken care of EVERY detail overwhelms and fills me. I feel so loved, so cared for…Everything has just fallen into place. I even have a new guitar!

There is so much more that has happened as confirmation to go on and on, honestly. But it’s been a long post…

It’s hard to leave everything behind.  I have mixed feelings. Sometimes I’ll be full of joy, and other times i’m just crying my eyes out because of all I’m leaving behind. But He has given me strenght and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Obedience often hurts, but greater is the strength He gives to go where He leads.

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalms 126:5

It’s scary, yet I will take this step in obedience, knowing that what He has for me in Chicago is something I could have never imagined. God’s like that. He always overdoes it. He always has plans for us that we cannot even begin to comprehend. He is able to transform our lives as we walk in the light of His plan. And He not only tells us where to go, but gives us the strenght to obey and follow all the way. There’s no better place to be than in the center of His will.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

flowers chicago

Oh, and here’s me singing “Oceans” just a few weeks before, completely oblivious.

plaindivider

I pray you will allow God to reign in your life. You’ll be surprised at the amazing plans that He has for you.

I ask you also to pray for me and this new stage in my life.

Thank you!!

 

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About Nathalia

I'm Nathalia, a 20-something living in Chicago, centered around Jesus, inspired by words and moved by others.

4 thoughts on “Bye, Puerto Rico. Hello, Chicago.

  1. Natalia:

    Ha sido muy gratificante leer este post tuyo aveces estamos conectados por el espíritu sin darnos cuenta por que andamos buscando su prescencia. El toparme con tu post en la noche de hoy me lo permite saber. Se que todo te irá de maravilla ya que andar de la mano de Dios siguiendo sus planes hace que solamente podamos depender de él y es así como vemos que vivir una vida apostando a creerle y aguardar nuestro corazón para vivir por él es lo que nacimos para experimentar. Te quiero mucho a ti y a Eveliz y le doy gracias a Dios por acercarme a persona como ustedes que alimentan mi espíritu, que la vida nos siga uniendo y que podamos encontrarnos en el camino buscando su prescencia. 🙂

  2. Wow! Incredible story! Loved this post. This shows how amazing God is! I’m happy to hear how many doors and new opportunities have opened for you. I’m from Puerto Rico and I really love Chicago and a similar situation happened to me this summer. My dream is to live in Chicago but I know someday I will. I would love to know what has happened after all these events and your experience on living in Chicago. Take Care!

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