A good thing about keeping a journal/writer’s notebook/morning pages (it isn’t just one thing) is that I don’t have to rely on my memory. I can re-read my writing to re-live, in hindsight, my inside as well as the outside story in retrospect.
Two months ago, on June 1, 2018, Mitch and I were immersed in doing what we needed to do to be ready to move to Canada in just 6 weeks. We had planned to come back to Victoria at the end of June to do immigration work and look for housing. We planned to visit Mitch’s family in Alabama at some point before moving in July and I would drive to Ohio and Indiana to deliver some furniture to our daughter Margaret, visit my spiritual mentor, Margaret, on the way to Indianapolis, and then support my friend Stacy as she defended her dissertation on June 15. Needless to say, we were overwhelmed with a to-do list.
As of today, August 2, 2018, much has been accomplished. We’ve been welcomed here and settled in as much as can be settled in this temporary space. We signed the lease on the quite lovely house we will rent, in September, in a convenient location, we didn’t even know about when we first visited.
However, I’ve started to have pangs of panic as I realize that there is still immigration work to begin for a more secure status. I realize I don’t know how much the actual moving of our stuff later this month is going to cost. I do not know that I have the correct paperwork for our belongings to cross the border. I realize that I have to wait two more weeks before applying for a new driver’s license because my Tennessee license is not quite the required 2 years old, which is not a problem except that we noticed that our car tags have expired. I need a check on these raging uncertainties.
So, I happened to look back. On June 1, just two months ago, I wrote in my journal:
“God grant me the serenity” could be my prayer now, too, to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Have the courage to ask for help when I need it – seeing my life through the lens of grace rather than fear and anxiousness.
Remember when we were going to move to Bloomington? The rental market was overwhelming and our house hadn’t even sold. Then, I don’t even know how it happened that Mitch found out about Byron’s house. He texted me the address and I couldn’t believe it – the location next to the park and walk-able to my work/school and a basement where we could store all of our stuff. Same with this house (our rental when our house sold in Bristol.) So, God, I guess I’m imagining that kind of synchronicity will happen again.
BUT—ah—the what if’s. What if we don’t have a place? Mitch could stay with Gordon or in an extended stay hotel? But, none of that may happen. We’ve moved a lot and we’ve made it work. Always grace—somehow people and places have emerged, some have been better than others, but inside we have grown and even flourished. Buechner says that even my own life is not my business. It is God’s business. Leave it to God. It is an astonishing thought. It can become a life transforming thought.
This newness we ARE being somehow called into is both risky and holy business. And, honestly, that is where I must be.
The eternal God is my dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms.
I don’t need to add any more words—LISTEN, just listen, to my life.