I’m sitting on my favourite chair in the living room. It’s cozy and comfortable, and just what I need to relax and take a breath between the work of suppertime and bathtime and bedtime. It’s kind of like Tiny Town in that way. Small and cozy. Familiar. We’ve just finished supper after getting home from a walk in the crisp air under sunny blue skies. The bit of snow that lays on the ground crunched under the stroller wheels as our lungs breathed in cold and breathed out breath made visible. We walked hand-in-hand and chit-chatted about how good it was to get out for a walk, and guessed at how long it would be until the Big Cold hits this year.
With bellies full of a simple supper, the kiddos are playing on the floor in their jammies at my feet wreaking havoc in their usual charming way. My honey walks into the room and hands me his iPhone with a goofy smile on his face. I look, read the email, and give him a raised-eyebrow and twinkling-eyes look of well-of-course-you-got-the-job-silly-i-never-stopped-believing-in-you. He grins sheepishly and we smile at each other as the worries and what-if’s melt away. The peace and rightness of it all melts over us like a relief from the burden we did not realize we had hung onto.
If I’m not careful, the unknowing will kill me. Or, rather, it will crush my living. It entangles and drags down hope into the pit of discontent and future-mindedness while sacrificing the gifts of today on the altar of control and wishing away the days until. Until this or that or whatever I am looking to while I miss the days in front of me, around me. I’ve been learning slowly though that this will never end.
I’ve been learning slowly that the temptation to live in the future instead of in the present will not quit now that we have this news, or the next, or the next. Not when we finally are settled with an organization, or a country, or how long our assignment will be, or what we will do after that. No, the urge to always want to know what’s ahead will always be there. But miracle of miracles, I am finding sweetness in the unknowing. A rest of sorts, from worrying and planning and fussing.
As aspiring overseas missionaries, our sense of home and rootedness cannot be found in a town, or a house with picket fence, or anything at all earthly. Our sense of home is ever-changing and mobile. It is wherever we have each other that we have found home, and wherever we land our earthly selves and nudge each other into opening up into community, saying yes to relationship and participation, and denying the urge to burrow down deep into anonymity. That’s where we are home. For one unknown day ahead we will pick up and go again. Across the country, across the world, wherever it may be. And heaven forbid that we should trade the beauty of the now for the worrying of the what’s-to-come.
We realized upon our return to Tiny Town after the holidays that this obscure little place in the middle of the Canadian prairies, surrounded by wheat fields as far as the eye can see, has become home to us. I hadn’t expected that feeling to ever come, considering the nomadic lifestyle that we’ve embarked on. This life that we’ve chosen (or, the life that has chosen us?). Nonetheless it feels like home and I can’t help but wonder if it’s more to do with the state of our contented hearts and our living-of-today rather than wondering about the length of days for which we’ll stay.
When I don’t know what’s ahead, I can just focus on the here-and-now. When I don’t know what’s to come but I trust the One who does, I can just leave it in His hands. But how, really? I wonder the same thing, after years of fussing and worrying and obsessing over it all.
It’s a mystery, and a beautiful one at that. But not only is it possible, it’s so much easier, too.
He starts a week from Monday. He’s a flight instructor. He’s going to teach his students how to fly airplanes. God, I’m proud of him. And I mean that will all reverence in the world. Our God has certainly been sustaining us and guiding us in this long journey, and we know that He will continue to do so. When Honey finished his training last summer and got his instructor rating, we knew we were entering into a season of waiting. We’ve lived with the possibility of moving to any flight school in the country that would hire him, and as we’ve wrestled with the idea of staying vs. going and the out-of-our-hands nature of it all, we’ve come to a strange sense of peace and contentment.
So, now we know. The wait is over.
For now, that is.
We’ve learned that they’ve changed the way they are handling their hirings this time. Everyone will be on a three-month contract to start, which will be extended as necessary according to student numbers and such. We are hoping to stay for around a year, which is long enough to gain the hours necessary for an organization like this to be able to use us in a place like this or this.
From Tiny Town for while, to Toronto to raise funds and prepare for overseas, to a far-away country for missionary aviation, and beyond. The unknowing and the questions of what’s to come and when and how and all of it will never end. We hold these hopes and plans loosely, knowing that today is enough on its own.
And I’ll keep living my today’s for as long as they are gifted to me, breathing deeply in the beauty and living in the now, grateful for it all.