I’m a planner.
I like to plan ahead. I like to know what’s coming. I like timelines and knowing what to expect. Don’t get me wrong- I do have another side to me. The side that gets tired of predictability and feeling tied down to plans, but that’s just to keep people guessing. For the most part, I thrive on being able to see a good distance down the road.
But here I am, uprooted from my previous life, trying to get established in a new country, with a husband who is working in a temporary contract. Not only is Dwayne’s job temporary, but it’s…challenging. (I’m cautiously not filling in details here online, so trust me on this one.) So there are times when we wonder how he could ever stick it out the whole 2 years. On the other hand, there are times when we consider whether we could ever return to North American life. Now that we’ve pulled ourselves away from it, we realize that parts of it leave a lot to be desired. Life in the UAE is pretty sweet. And so we wonder if we’ll find ourselves here beyond the 2 years. And then we come across people who have worked in multiple countries and have learned so much from immersing themselves in various cultures and we wonder if our next stop will not be Canada at all, but an entirely different country.
We wonder and waver. We ponder possibilities. Each scenario has costs and benefits. Each has pros and cons. But every train of thought or conversation comes back to this:
We have no idea.
We have no idea what the next year and half has in store for us. We have no idea how we will be feeling next year. We have no idea what opportunities will present themselves or won’t. And especially, we have no idea what God’s Spirit will compel us to pursue from here.
I run scenarios in my head constantly, because, as mentioned, I’m a planning addict, but God has been showing me, over and over, that I simply cannot know. Why waste my time trying to figure it out and plant myself in a future that may never exist the way I envision it? What God wants for me is to live fully present in today. To be faithful with the gifts he has given me in this time and place and season. To tend the field He has put right in front of me.
So, while I’m missing the family we left back home, I am soaking up the unprecedented amount of time we have together as a little family unit. While I’m missing the deep, established friendships from home, I’m making the effort to reach out and invest in new friendships with a whole lot of amazing people who are not a 20 hour plane ride away. While I’m missing bacon and cheese and barbequing, I have fallen in love with falafels and hummus and shawarma…and my body is so grateful. While I’m missing the mountains and the greenery and seasons of BC, I wake up every morning to sunshine and chirping birds and a multitude of beautiful new places to explore.
My present is pretty great. I do not want to squander it by keeping one foot planted back in Canada and the other planted in an unknown future. So, I’m working on bringing both feet back right under me. Here in Al Ain. Today in February, 2015. I’m praying that God will teach me to number my days and leave the long term planning to Him.