It has been one year and three days since we have been back in Canada and one year since we moved into Kinbrace. I feel gratitude and yet, I also feel disappointment as I read my words from our first day in this sacred space. I had so much hope for healing and for restoration and it would seem that things have just gotten harder in many ways. Was the excavation not complete? Or did we take down walls for a simple bathroom renovation only to find out that the whole house was riddled with asbestos? Or was the foundation more damaged than we thought and as a result need to dig deeper?
In any case, the wounds are still raw. We are broken, hurting, and waiting. Ever waiting.
In all things however, and in all circumstances, we give thanks. And so I take time to exercise gratitude, for it truly is a muscle, and raise my ebenezer.
I give thanks for:
1.) This porch sofa on which I sit
The same place I sat writing in this journal on that first day. This time, Byron cuddled up beside. The water feature next door still trickling gently, the chickens still humming. The garden is green, albeit a bit behind last year because of the cold, wet May we’ve had.
It goes without explanation.
3.) A wider and deeper perspective than we had before
As we have had the chance to hear refugee claimant’s stories, hear their hurts, pray for them, share meals, traditions, cups of coffee, tea, and celebrations and accompany them in a difficult time – be a friend, a neighbour, and helping hand.
4.) My job
I have learned a lot and grown as a leader. It is a big picture job and that is what I need. Canada seems so small compared to England and Alpha Canada, tiny, when compared to the Church of England, but this job has allowed me to be attuned to where the church in Canada is at and, in some small way, offer encouragement.
5.) The girls’ school
Ella has had a great year and I haven’t had to fight for it or micromanage her education. Her teacher, Mr. Borsato and her EA, Dubbie ,have been exceptional – in class with a proper modified curriculum and inclusive setting and out of class, through the Heroes Hockey program and morning basketball.
6.) I am grateful for my mom
And the support that she has provided – helping us get settled with everything we needed including a trip to Mexico.
7.) For friendships that are blossoming
Even though I am a relational skeptic most days, I hope and pray that we can find good friends, and that it won’t take the standard 3 years. I think I’ve found some good ones.
8.) I am grateful for health
Sure, we have had our share of aches and pains (apparently, that happens after 40) but we have been relatively healthy and for that, I am grateful.
9.) My home
My family remarks often about the reality of living in community: the noise from neighbours who function in different time zones, and how there is often not enough hot water or that the bedrooms are too small, but I still love it. I love how I finally have a space that I could make my own, paint the way I want, have a big bookcase, a good workspace, nice linens, comfortable spaces for the kids, my grandmother’s piano, a T.V., and lots of plants…maybe I should get a new plant today.
10.) And finally, a God that will not let me go
I doubt, I scream, I stomp my feet. I threaten to leave and to abandon faith because I am so frustrated with myself, and with the humans on this faith journey with me, but I can’t leave…ever…because He will never let me go. I don’t even fully understand what I have been purchased for or what I am heir to, but I am chose, placed here for such a time as this until I am called elsewhere.