We’ve hit the one-year milestone in our new home in Southern Ontario.
It felt great to watch as the marker approached, knowing it had taken its toll to get there, hoping life beyond the marker would just be… better.
I’m not going to go into all the dark details of the past year – I’ve decided that doesn’t do anybody any good. Not for now.
I will skim the surface details, emotions detached for now, so that I can move beyond the marker and tell you about what’s coming…
There was major transition, letting go of “familiar” and “normal”, mental health issues, personal health issues, SO MUCH uncertainty, tension and strain and pulling away, my grandfather’s passing, my dad’s heart attack…
And that’s just the surface. Just skimming across the top of it all, not looking down into the depths of it all, just the facts.
Because you can only look back for so long before you can’t see ahead. You can only look down for so long before you can’t see up.
Sometimes the choice to look ahead and up is Herculean in effort. Especially if you’ve had your head turned in those directions for far too long.
So here we are… one entire year has come and gone… and the boys are back in their new-to-them schools, and I’m back to running our new-to-me household, and Josh is back at his new-to-him ministry.
We had an absolutely amazing summer of fun and friends and travel and exploring around home and just making really good memories. Two summer’s worth of memories packed into one (because last summer was a bit of a mess). Going with the flow and seeing where the days led and being very intentional about living in the moments.
It was worth the effort to position our faces forward, and up. To look ahead as much as possible, only looking back to see the good that was, making sure to take the good with us instead of trying to live in it beyond its time.
We went back “home”, back north, for a couple of weeks this summer. We saw some of our favourite faces, and visited some of our favourite places, and remembered the years past, and gathered it all up to bring with us, and gave it a place in our new “home”.
You see, I’ve really come to understand “home is where the heart is”.
And sometimes if you really put your heart into something or someone or some place, it’s hard to let go. And you need to be able to grieve after you finally find yourself able to release it. And then it might still take a while before you let your heart loose in what comes next.
Huge doses of patience and flexibility and understanding have been required this past year. Anything goes… and let’s try this… and just – keep – going… and living in moments that feel like they should never exist… doubting, confusion, even bitterness… then hoping, believing, trusting there will be good from it all.
And here we are… deep breath… we made it through the first year! Yahoo!
Because I’ve heard it before and lived it myself – once you pass that first year milestone it often changes everything.
Suddenly we are doing things for the SECOND time since moving here, and so it feels more familiar, more like tradition, more reliable, more stable. More like “home”.
Being at camp gave me much-needed quiet time to edit the blog-to-book and it’s just about ready. Really!
And editing the book, reading all those blog posts through the years, allowed me to see a common theme. I mention Elijah on the mountain quite a few times, like I just love that story of Elijah hearing God in the whispers. He kept looking for God in the loudness of life, like the wind and fire and earthquakes, but instead found him in the intimate quietness of a whisper.
At the camps I worked at growing up (and on into adult years too!) they gave each leader a camp name – something that focused in on something about their personality, etc. My camp name was Wispa – it’s a British chocolate bar – and it fit with my British heritage, my love of all things chocolate, and my quiet nature. Now I can also see this theme of whispers in another area of life, even in my camp name, going back to when I was a teenager.
And I proceed through the start of another year here in our new-to-us places and faces and routines, and I add in a couple of things now that we’re a bit more settled (finally starting my Masters degree online and also a part-time job from home!) I trust that on the loud days of life, and especially when those days turn into loud seasons instead, I’ll Know to listen for the whispers. I’ll Know we’re safe in God’s hands no matter what comes. I’ll Know we are loved.
Oh, and I’ll let you know as soon as the blog-to-book is finally finished 🙂