2011 was FULL. Full of coming and going, new friends and old friends, small babies and big ones, sunrises and sunsets, laughter and tears, of pathways behind me, and wide open highways ahead of me. When I thought of writing about 2011, I didn’t know whether to cry, laugh, or just sit silently in remembrance, willing myself to be thankful. Sometimes it’s easy to be thankful, and other times it takes a bit of coaxing, and this wrap up is one of those times, I suppose.
I can almost separate this year into 2 equal parts, both of them having taught me lessons that I couldn’t get in a classroom. The first half, let’s call it GO, was so much more than I thought I needed. It taught me who this Samantha character is. I don’t understand completely, but I know MUCH more about myself now than I did last year on December 31. GO taught me more about this incredible, intricate, powerful Saviour I serve. GO taught me to love without holding back, even if the love you dish out isn’t reciprocated. GO also taught me how much it hurts to leave everything you know, but that there is peace and incredible safety in my Maker’s arms. GO taught me so many lessons I can’t write them all out, you’d be reading for hours. I loved GO. I cherish every memory, and miss it so much. There’s something about a season in your life when you leave all you know, you’re wide open, ready to learn anything you can. Because of the sacrifices I made in order to get there, GO had a long way to prove itself worthy, and thankfully, that proof is still bearing fruit. That was GO. And now, for STAY.
STAY and I did not have a very good relationship these past few months. It started off nice, but quickly went sour. When I landed back on this sweet Canadian soil, I received STAY with open arms. With it came my beautiful nieces and nephew, my family that I missed so much. STAY gave me my friends, my possessions, my comfort and my familiarity back. All these things I missed so much, I thought I’d never grow to take them for granted again. How wrong could someone be? As the months passed, I began to resent STAY. My questions to my Planner became more of a book report “When can I go? Where am I going? Who am I going to be with? Why do I have to stay here now? How can I make an impact here?” Gone were the sweet prayers of “In Your time, God”, I was back on track with being my old impatient self. STAY, in its own way, has taught me all the lessons I never wanted to learn. That His plans are bigger, better, and higher than mine. (Isaiah 55) That I need to rest in the Lord, and stand in silence before Him. (Isaiah 41) I was taught that I need to stop talking so much, and listen a little longer, a little harder. But I was taught good things too. Even if no one completely understands me, they still try. Even if I seem like a misfit in my family, they’re still my family, and it wouldn’t be the same without me. I learned a passion for photography that started long ago, but has finally been given room to breathe, grow and flourish. And everyday, when I’m open to it, God’s been calling out to me, giving me words to speak, prayers to pray, and love to give.
I could easily pick a favourite. I mean, who wouldn’t love to be in Australia and Papua New Guinea when there’s a snow storm outside your window? GO is me in a nutshell. Unpredictable. Adventurous. Confusing. But free. I’ve learned from both, absolutely, and I think God meant for this to happen, so what I learned in Australia could be applied here. You’re given a responsibility when you’re given knowledge, I see that now. Maybe I don’t always like it, but I see it.
So, 2011 is over. GO and STAY have come to a close, and now, I walk into a whole new chapter. It may only be a different number, 2012, but I see it as a chance to grow, to learn, to plan, and to love. So yes, I’ll confirm it, 2012 will see me on a few planes in a few new airports. I am planning on heading to Hawaii at some point to the YWAM base in Kona. It could be for 3 months, it could be for 6, it could be for more. At this point I don’t have specifics, but I have this. I’ve come to the realization that if I want friendships and relationships that look more radical than average, than I need to apply that to my life first.
And how like God to give me a plan that doesn’t officially “start” for another half-ish year? Another waiting season, I suppose. Care to join me?
Ah, maybe I’ll give you a few pictures of this last little mini-season of my life. Enjoy. Take some time to figure out what season you’re walking into, you’ll be surprised at what you can learn. Peace.
With Strength that is not my own, Sam