Nine months ago LuAnn and I pulled out of Holland, Michigan to begin a Great Adventure and a Grand Quest. Today, we pulled back in.
Is it just me or does time have a way of collapsing on itself and disappearing as if it never happened? Why are memories such allusive things? Why can’t we hold them and make them present in a way that feels as if we are still there or still then? Why can’t they stay real? It already feels as if we never left.
My emotions are running wild today and may not be tamed for quite some time. I am thrilled to be back with family and friends but a large part of me feels as if I failed to find what I was looking for these past nine months. I wanted so badly to be in a different “place” by now. I wanted to feel differently about our future. I wanted to know more. (And I wanted to weigh less.) I console myself with the idea that our journey is not over. We had to postpone a couple of key destinations from our original itinerary so technically, our pilgrimage is still in process.
Our reason for this return to Holland is our first grandchild. Annie is going to have a little girl on Thursday, March 30. I’m going to be a grandpa. (I want to write that again.) I’m going to be a grandpa. Her pregnancy remains at risk and that day will be a particularly dangerous one for her. Please pray for our precious girl as that day approaches. Annie’s life, as hard and tragic as it has been, is also an incredible miracle. May that miracle continue in the health and well-being of this baby girl.
We plan to stay in Michigan through May before resuming our pilgrimage. Both LuAnn and I have opportunities for part-time work during our stay. That’s good. Our resources are running low. Our exact itinerary after May is still being created. Another trip to Minnesota is possible as is a trip to Ohio and even the East Coast. Friends on the West Coast have invited us to return as they are in the midst of a project for which they need our help. And Nathan still lives in Seattle. So there’s that.
All those ideas and plans still have big question marks surrounding them, but then that has been the story of our lives for a long time—uncertainty. Uncertainty and the strange assurance that accompanies it. Perhaps that is true in all our lives to one degree or another.
As we made this nine-month loop from the Midwest to the Northwest to the Southwest and back, we often said (jokingly) that if we didn’t find what we were looking for, we’d just make another loop until we did. Hey, maybe that’s what we’ll do. I honestly can’t think of a good reason not to.
Regarding this blog: I feel foolish having promised constant communication and updates to family and friends via this tool and then fallen so short of my goal. It wasn’t for lack of wanting. I keep asking God to bring words back into my life. Maybe my writing “voice” will return. I have also been asking God to bring music back into my heart. Maybe that voice will also return. I brought a guitar along on our journey but never played it. I want to sing again but can’t seem to bring the song back. I have begun to pray that God will “put a new song in my heart.” I have always loved to write and sing yet both of those graces seem to have gone into hiding.
I won’t risk guessing when you’ll hear from me next. Until then it is LuAnn’s and my prayer that God will open our eyes to see his will, open our hands to surrender our will, and open our hearts to both give and receive all this life requires of us. I invite you to do the same.