This post is part of a three part series. I started writing and arrived at 500 words, then 1000 then 2000. So grab your beverage of choice, find a comfy chair and let me tell you about the last few months.
So here’s what happened—we were waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for confirmation: confirmation being all the appropriate documentation to take the plunge and then SPLASH! We found ourselves diving head first into cold water and it would seem that only yesterday, did I come up for air.
But let me back up.
Steadfast love. Around Christmas, I started the practice of highlighting the phrase “steadfast love” in red in my Bible. I wanted to know it. I longed for it. You see, the problem with being a rather melancholic, introverted pragmatist is that my life is not defined or even roughly shaped by romance or intimacy. That’s not to say I don’t love. I do, but I love with a much deeper, heart and MIND, kind of love that takes time to develop. It’s rarely love at first sight. Often, to love, is as much of a decision as it is a feeling. One of the most defining moments in my relationship with Ben was when he tried to break up with me after about six months of dating. He said, “My heart isn’t in it.” To which I replied, “Ben, what happens when you wake up next to your wife and your heart isn’t in it?”
15 years later and here we are. Loyal. Deep. Heart and mind.
So if my relationship with my husband is like this, why would I expect my relationship with God to be any different? It’s not to say there is no romance or intimacy, but those fleeting moments are not what hold us together. In the same way, I want my relationship with God to be grounded and steadfast. So you can see why I was intrigued by this phrase that popped up everywhere from Exodus to the Psalms (in the English Standard Version). I wanted to know it. I wanted to experience it.
But let me back up.
Just after Christmas, Ben came across a job posting.
He was a little skeptical; the title was, after all, Pioneer Worship Minister. Huh? Like in the Wild West? That being said, the job description seemed to be everything Ben was looking for: a full-time job, in music ministry in an Anglican Church, with an evangelical (not in the cultural sense), Christ-centred foundation. I told him to go for it. The only catch:
It was in England.
Much to our surprise, they immediately responded because as it turned out, Ben was everything they were looking for.
Ben chatted with the Church via Skype and things were looking promising. Conveniently, we had already planned a trip to Britain in February but truth be told, it was hugely to provide closure. You see, we used to live in the UK. Ben did his Masters degree at the University of Cambridge almost 7 years ago. We fell in love with it, wanted to stay but couldn’t and had always been looking for an opportunity to return. As Ben says, we left part of our hearts there. Year after year, Ben would go on the job hunt hoping something might come up but nothing ever did. So finally, this past year, we bought a new vehicle, invested in some proper furniture and resolved that perhaps, we were meant to stay in Canada. We wanted to go back one last time, however, to say goodbye and tie up loose ends (namely, close a bank account that still had money in it).
We nevertheless, took one day of our trip to travel out to the little village of Chalfont St. Peter. Located just 20 minutes outside of London on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, it was everything you would picture a little English village to look like (aka-the village out of Hot Fuzz). The trip was not only so that Ben and I could see for ourselves the town and the churches, it was also so that the staff could meet Ben, the council could interview him properly and let’s not forget, to allow Ben to show off his vast range of musical talent—everything from leading an elementary school assembly to leading contemporary worship music, to playing the organ. As expected, Ben blew their socks off. The more “seasoned”, traditionalists loved him, the Hillsong-loving “contemporvents” loved him (that’s a combination of contemporary and relevant) and they offered him the job on the spot.
Little did we know the anxiety and uncertainty that would threaten to overtake us in the next four months.
About the photos: Spoiler Alert! Last week we walked through the country fields to the adjacent town, Chalfont St. Giles. There they have a charming little pub called Merlin’s Cave. I just love pubs here. Kids? No Problem. Dogs? No Problem. You can just sit in the garden, have a drink and bit to eat whilst the kids run around. It’s fabulous!
Read Chapter Two here.