Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Moving to Massachusetts.

So. I'm moving to Massachusetts.  I'm not sure when, though. That depends on the US government.  We have hired an immigration lawyer to help us, and once our paperwork is in order, I will file an application for a fiancee visa, and I will go to the US consulate in Ottawa for an interview.  It is at this point that  I hope to convince the powers-that-be that I am marrying Brian for love, his rugged good looks and his comic book collection, and  NOT to sneak into the country.

 It has occurred to me that if I wanted to just sneak into the country, I live so close to the Canada/US border, I could just cut through the bush. Or head over to Malone "for groceries".  I know that, and you know that. Still, wisdom tells me that I probably shouldn't assume that my interviewers will know that. Or will want to hear about it.

The interview should be interesting.  I probably should wear a muzzle.

If I sound flippant about this, I am not.  This process is not going to be easy, and the acquisition of permission to marry my American hunny is not going to be the hard part.  From the time that Brian proposed in November to just recently, whenever I though about marrying  Brian, my inner narrative went something like this, "I am going to marry him, I am going to be with him, I am going to Massachusetts!"

Now, though, all I can think about is that I am leaving home.



There is a process happening inside of me. A letting go, so that I can openly and freely receive what God is bringing into my life.  The letting go is beginning to hurt. And it hasn't even begun.

I think that this is something that I need to blog about.  A series, maybe.  Can I commit to being honest about this process, though?  What if it gets messy? Oh, who am I kidding, it will get messy.  Will I be able to be true to the mess? To myself? To God?  And more importantly, dare I not be true?

I don't know.  If a journey of a thousand steps begins with one, then step one is coming up with a name for this new adventure in writing.  I don't know if I have the courage to write a blog series on leaving Canada to move to the States, but maybe all I need to be able to do now is find a title for the series.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"We fall in love with their souls"

My brilliant niece, Bailey, posted this quote on her Facebook page today -

While I couldn't find a source for it, I do love it. And I believe that this concept also applies to long-distance relationships.  It is remarkable, in a long distance relationship, how much time is spent communicating. Emails, texts, Skype chats, phone calls. The entire relationship consists of some form of "talking".  Because of this, the things that we share the most, in the very beginning, are our ideas, beliefs, thoughts, feelings. Before Brian and I ever actually were able to touch each other, we had shared so much of our hearts and souls, the touching was a lovely addition to an already wonderful experience.

Last fall, I had decided that for Brian's Christmas present, I was going to print out the first few weeks of our email communications. I've kept them all, and there are over a thousand email threads, which means there are over two thousand single emails. At this point, it may be closer to three thousand.  I thought it would be a nice reminder of our first tentative, searching communication, in the days when we were reaching out gingerly, excited but cautious, and every word from the other was a reassurance that something amazing and real was being placed before us.

I started copying and pasting and soon realized that making a compilation that would cover the span of a few weeks was a bit too ambitious.  By the time I had put together eight days of emails, I had over 40 pages of text.  I also included some excerpts from my personal journal that I had written in the days just before I met Brian, including one written on the day before we initially connected, in which I prayed that God would either change my heart so that I could accept the idea of being alone, or provide someone to spend my life with. Either way, I was submitted to God's will. I knew, though, that I would need His help and guidance, either way.

Forty pages.  This was before we had even heard each other's voices, before the first Skype chat.  I fell in love with the heart. mind and soul behind Brian's words.  He was strong and honest, he wrote about his feelings with passion and beauty, he made me laugh and was respectful, he knew himself in a way that I admired, accepting his weaknesses and was honest about his strengths, he was a devoted father and son, and he made me smile.

When I met him for the first time, in the parking lot of the Aubuchon hardware store in Malone, N.Y, and he wrapped his arms around me, I knew him.  He was familiar and comfortable, albeit in a weak-kneed, ooh-la-la kind of way.  The first smile, the first embrace, the first was like coming home to a place that I loved but had never physically been to before.

I fell in love with Brian's soul long before I touched his hand for the first time, and I am grateful for that.

The rest is just gravy. Really, really good gravy.  More like a reduction, with wine and lovely fresh herbs and a touch of thick cream...yeah, that's it.  Meowrrrrr.

Just a thought.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Knocking down walls

When I think of all of the struggles that I have had over the past few years, I can see that because I was desperate and had no choice but to give myself and my problems to God, He has used them to demolish the walls between me and others.

I have an anxiety disorder? BAM! Down go the walls between me and the fearful.

Chronically ill and in pain? KAPLUIE!! Welcome to the world of the suffering.

Financial difficulties? VOILA!!! Gone are the preconceived ideas about poverty.

The loss of my mother? POW!!! Weep with those who mourn.

Abused and bullied? SHAZAM!!!  Say hello to a deeper knowledge of boundaries and forgiveness.

Rejected by Christians? POOF!!!  Move closer into a dependency on Jesus, not people.

Helpless, tired and alone?  SWOOSH!!  Move into the abundant life of those who live in the power of The Spirit of God, who have strength to equal their days and who are never, ever alone.

For many, many years, the thing that I have prayed the most for is for love. Love for God, and love for others.  More love, more love, more love.  I've begged for help, wailed in pain, howled for relief and wept in gratitude, but more than that, I've prayed for love. God's love in my heart for other people.

I've prayed. And then I walked, because what else is there to do while waiting for love to magically appear in one's heart?  The thing is, the love appeared, all right. It met me in the dust.  In the pain. In the tears. In the weakness and poverty and loneliness.  It met me when I failed, and stumbled and fell.

When I look back, I see a lot of messes. But that's not the first thing I see. The first thing I see is the love.  I was loved.  And that love knocks down walls between me and anyone else who feels small and poor and alone and in pain.

And that makes me happy.

My Zimbio