There is a lot swirling in my mind these days. Since I made myself take a hiatus from Facebook, that great vortex (speaking of swirling) of connectedness, that great twister of humanity, that great sucker of time, I have been able to actually think in chunks of words somewhat larger than a status update. Like, now I can think in 400 characters at a time. (And yes, I am really not getting on FB. I just share news links through the FB share button on the news sites.)
Really, my mind has reminded me of the twister in Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz. There goes my bicycle. There goes my dog with a cape on his back. OH and there goes a cherry pie and a pig and a chicken coop and 7 tomato plants. And there goes a witchy neighbor on a bike or a broom or a what… I can’t make that out… And there goes Canada and my house and my sweet neighbours and there goes my church life and my dear friends and a flying monkey and an emerald green lake and a mountain range. And there goes 7 years.
And like I wrote on the day we left Canada, everything is swirling around me and I’m wondering where my landing place will be. I am here at home in California. And it does feel very much like home because I lived here for 18 years. But I have decided that moving away from a place you love and people you know and love, even if you are going back to a place and a people you love, it is something like a friend dying. Or at least like Dorothy in Oz or Alice in Wonderland where you are always remembering the other place which seems to be getting fuzzier and fuzzier the longer you are away.
Like saying a permanent goodbye to a friend, there is a sorrow and even a guilty feeling when you find yourself not thinking of someone back home (your other home) every day. And you are having to tell yourself that this is the new normal — not being with these dear ones anymore. No matter how assured you were when you left that you weren’t just moving but God was moving you, you wonder when this sad feeling of not seeing your dear friends who had been family begins to feel normal. And you look forward to and dread that day at the same time because it’s hard feeling so removed and so detached. But you don’t want to stop missing them either because they are so special to you, even those people who may never understand why it is that you left and can’t bring themselves to talk to you about it.
And that home…. It was your place as much as any place ever was. And you (selfishly?) wonder if that home and those people feel the lack of you like you do for them.
That’s a little bit of what is swirling up there in the vortex of my mind. I am settling in here and thanking God for every small thing that makes me feel a little more anchored here. But as a child of God — a pilgrim — I am always wondering if I am really supposed to let down that anchor again. Each time I do I find that He wants me to reel it back in and hoist the sails again for Him to blow us onward once again. I don’t know if anyone who isn’t in the ministry can actually understand this. Even those in the military have a definitive “boss” to point to as the reason they are moving on. The Holy Spirit is a boss that others who aren’t hearing His call on your life the way you are may just never understand. They just may never know what it is to have your ear to the rail all of the time so to speak, (I know I’m mixing metaphors here…. trains/boats) though I truly believe everyone needs to have this mind towards their relative permanence in their calling. All that being said, perhaps I’m even more timid about weighing anchor here precisely because it is my hometown. One would think it would be that much easier but it’s just as hard here or even harder. And for some reason it’s hard to remember the first few years of living anywhere, how much work and time went into establishing friendships, etc.
My prayer is that God will guide and direct all those we left in Calgary/Canada. That He will comfort and encourage them. That they will know how dear they are to us still. That they will keep their ear to the rail and be ready to hoist the anchor up and raise the sails when God blows you in a new direction. Keep us in your prayers as we continue to work and pray and trust Him for his guidance. Even now we sometimes feel like we are on a rough sea and aren’t quite sure which way the land is. But we see our savior walking on the water toward us. We hear Him speaking, “Peace, be still.” And we know that He will not abandon us. For when we are weak and begin to sink beneath the waves, then He is strong and lifts us out. And He does not chide us but has compassion on us because we are His.