Three years ago, I first ventured to this Midwestern city. Called it home for an entire summer as I learned what it meant to receive love in community while simultaneously ministering to one.

Two years ago, I returned to this city with a gut lined with lonely dread only to rediscover the Paradise it once was.

On this week’s milestone DAY 100 of #RunningTo, I returned to this city once more. No dread this time. Just Paradise.

#RunningTo: Milwaukee, WI

I realize “Paradise” is a strong word. It evokes images of angels and clouds and classical music and lots and lots of fruit. True Paradise is something none of us can properly fathom.

Milwaukee isn’t perfect. I can look out this coffee shop window and see homeless people and potholes and orange barrels lining the streets for blocks.

Nowhere’s perfect. Nowhere’s immune to brokenness. Not Milwaukee, not nowhere.

But three years ago, Milwaukee taught me it’s okay to be broken. Because it is in a city’s brokenness that a city can rally and love and be bound. And it is in a twenty-four year old guy’s own brokenness that a team of four can also rally and love and bind, supernaturally empowering him to stand and love back.

Two years ago, I dreaded returning to this city where so many emotional wars were waged. But as I prepare to spend an entire week back in this city that changed my life, I’m no longer afraid. Only overjoyed to revisit old familiar sights while discovering entirely new nooks and crannies I never knew existed.

It’s fun to return to Paradise. Both for the nostalgia of yesteryear and the chance to craft new nostalgia for years yet to come.

I couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate my 100th day on the road.

Have you ever returned to a personal place of Paradise? What did you feel? TELL ME A STORY.