We’ve been in Fredericksburg for just over three weeks now, and our life here is very slowly beginning to take shape. David is doing most of the farm work at the moment, which is evenly split between “on the farm” labour and “off the farm” planning, sales and marketing. I have been meeting with the owner of a fitness studio downtown about potentially working with him as a trainer, as well as looking for other work. The rest of the time I am trying not to miss kiting too much… although I have gone twice since I’ve been here (SCORE!).
Because David was able to spend a few weeks here before I came, we basically had a little community of friends waiting for us when we arrived. Our neighborhood is very friendly, and this is the first place we’ve lived together where we actually know most of our neighbors (and see them regularly). Downtown Fredericksburg, which is not huge but has enough to keep us entertained, is a 5 minute bike ride/15 minute walk from our front door. Our church is about a 10 minute walk from our house and already feels like we’ve been there forever (it probably helps that the leader lives around the corner from us!). We even seem to have started a tradition of Sunday afternoon hookah and hangout…
Although home life is pretty good, there are still a lot of uncertainties. What are we actually doing here? What is the big picture? We know we mainly came here because of David’s opportunities to work with/for the Anglican church and Fresh Expressions. But we (I) also feel like we’ve given up a lot moving away from my family, the beach, and a good job. Have we just made a really stupid mistake in taking this risk and giving up our tiniest bit of security? On bad days I am full of fear and anxiety about it because I can’t see the way ahead and frankly don’t trust that God will show up. On better days I am reminded/challenged that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. That living by faith implies not being able to see ahead, because if you could see, then you wouldn’t really need faith to believe in the first place.
All of this is especially challenging because for the last 10 years or so, my faith life has looked a lot like the picture on the top of the page. Rocky. Deserted. I’ve struggled to believe that God is good and that he’s on my side. I’ve had my good days and bad days, sure, but for the most part there has been a huge silence/absence from him in all my/our major life decisions, which has been disorienting, confusing, and discouraging to say the least.
Do things feel different now? Maybe. While I’m not going to win any competitions for my amount of faith or produce any Gandalf-like fireworks with my prayers, it does feel like there’s a very, very slight breeze (pardon the wind metaphor) blowing the dust from this dry soul. And it does seem like there’s an very, very tiny, elusive hint of a Voice calling us on, encouraging us to keep going and keep hoping. That possibly what we hope for may yet come true.