Starting Over With Nothing Left to Lose

Being back in California has been emotional. We lived here for twenty years. All our children were born here. We have wonderful memories of what life gave us here yet every day reminds us of what we have lost.

Our journey has not been without its challenges, setbacks, and breakdowns but, for the most part, all is well.  We have slept many nights on foam pads in the back of our 2007 Dodge Caravan—often in 24-hour Walmart parking lots. That alone has been an adventure. LuAnn and I are definitely enjoying each other and embracing the journey. We are excited about the possibilities that await us.

Our travels are much more like a journey than a trip,  more like a pilgrimage than a holiday, and more like a sabbatical than a vacation. We are reading together, writing, deepening our devotion to each other and to God, entering into the lives of the family and friends with whom we stay, and rediscovering (dare I say, recreating) ourselves. We are seeking rest for our souls, making peace with our past, and hoping for some kind of healing or tending to our “wounds” that still feel so open. In the end, we believe this trip will be as much an inward journey as anything—perhaps more. At age sixty-two, with forty-three years of marriage under our belts, this feels a lot like starting over. That might not be such a bad thing.

As we travel, we are keeping our eyes and ears and hearts and minds open to the opportunities that arise. Life has not provided the option or resources for retirement so we are on the hunt for vocation, employment, and sustaining income. We are listening for a Providential “call” and waiting for Divine directions. If you haven’t guessed by now—despite the fact that, thanks to the generous hospitality of family and friends, we might appear like a retired couple enjoying the well-deserved fruits of our life-long, strategically-designed, fully-expanded portfolio—this is a last-ditch-effort, no-holds-barred, nothing-left-to-lose, faith-at-any-cost attempt to make some sense of our lives and try to connect all that has come to us with the hope of what may yet come.

Some days that’s working pretty well.  Other days—not so much.  But that might be the way your life goes too.  That’s the life of Ordinary Pilgrims.

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