It’s cheesy but true – one of the deepest joys of being at Regent College is the people I have the privilege to learn alongside. Isabel was a classmate in one of my first classes called The Christian Imagination. She is disarmingly unpretentious, wonderfully curious, has an irreverent sense of humour and brings feminist posters along with wine and homemade banana bread when she comes for dinner just because she thought I’d like it (= dream dinner guest). Oh, and she wrote and performed a rap for our Christian Imagination retreat — just like that. She left her job working for the Singaporean government and various editorial publications to start afresh here in Vancouver – at least for a season – while her husband studies at Regent. She recently had me writing over at her space and now it’s my privilege to host her words. Stepping into the unknown is rarely easy and I’m grateful for Isabel sharing some of what she has learned in her sometimes uncomfortable season of ‘waiting’.
I am not the sort of girl who cries easily. But I was suddenly and briefly overcome with emotion when listening to a song, Take Courage by Kristene DiMarco, one afternoon. The lines that moved me went: “Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul / He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting”.
For the past year, I’ve been on sabbatical after eight years of slogging away in the workplace. It’s been a precious time of rest and renewal, and I have zero regrets about making this decision to step away from the frenetic pace of my former life.
On March 1, 2018, my sabbatical officially ended. And in the weeks before this day arrived, I was plagued with anxiety and fear. I had no clear directive from God as to where I should be headed and what I should be doing next. And I wanted answers. Now. Continue reading
Continuing with the tree-theme, this morning I got into work early. Yesterday had gone pretty disastrously so it was with a distinct ‘eurgh’ that I stepped out into the cold to unlock my bike and cycle in. It was only when I rolled out of the drive that I saw it. Pink, orange, deep blues, shades of grey, gold… A blaze of glory, filling the sky. I let out an audible noise and stopped for a minute, feeling it warm me up from inside. I rode towards it all the way into central London, watching the colours shift as time slipped by. Continue reading
I’m curled up in the rich Autumn sunlight, looking at the last of the yellow leaves on the tree outside the window. I just noticed these leaves – lingering when all the others have fallen. Directly in the sun’s gaze, I guess the leaves know they’ve caught a good spot and are soaking it up, every last ray, for just a few more hours.
Autumn this year has floored me. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m taking more notice, but the leaves seem to have stuck around a lot longer than I expected. They began to turn not long after September, very much in line with our shift into a new season in every possible sense. Move outs, move ins, new jobs, new vocations, new routines. The leaves turned as we did and I was grateful for their companionship. Continue reading
I could give you two versions of my 2014 so far.
Small-Talk: I’ve got the training contract with a law firm that I had tried hard – working night jobs alongisde internships while scouring the half-off aisles and eating near-compostable vegetables – to get. The boy I have loved since meeting him years ago in Uganda has moved from Canada to London and we are making a go of things. We can do normal things like meet for lunch and call each other at human hours of the day. Hello late twenties – I’ve got my stuff together!
Beneath the bedcovers: The start of a corporate career which surprised me as much as anyone and left me wondering what on earth God could want to do with me here. A persistent cough which burrowed its way into my lungs and decided to camp out for two months. The boy is here on my doorstep – he’s going to have to see it all. Oh dear.
Advent this year has found me stuck on the idea of waiting. In many ways, it has been a hard wait. A desert wait. It was fitting that I happened to be reading Isaiah this month – as I found myself daily identifying with the Israelites as they waited. Through the interminable “how long, Lord?”, holding onto the promise of a Saviour.
On this side of that Bethlehem night, I know that the promised Saviour is now Immanuel. The promise has been fulfilled – so the wait should be somewhat less painful, no?
Perhaps. But it would be foolish to presume that because we live on this side, the dull nothingness of the waiting is any more pleasant. This month, I have been waiting along with the Israelites through a spiritual desert time. Nothing catastrophic, dramatic , just a lacklustre dullness. Blunt edges and feet in sand. What made this all the more painful was that I was supposed to spend this month in a rainforest, not a desert. Continue reading