in the garden of my soul

I was watching an episode of the the show Bones tonight and in the episode they were in London, England.  An opening shot after a commercial was of the Tower Bridge at night.  When it flashed up on the screen I instantly thought: “That is my country.”  But it’s not.  In more than one way.

I have found myself being changed by God about England over the last few months.  There were a few weeks where God was constantly speaking to me about the fact that it was okay to love it and appreciate the past.  However, I had the distinct feeling that my time there was over.  That may sound ridiculous because I returned to the USA in October of 2007, so of course my time there is over.  Yet, in my heart, throughout returning to my home country, going to another country (Brazil), going through deep depression, meeting Patrik, pregnancy, having our Eli and life since his birth, I have carried around a kind of grieving for the loss of living in the UK and the loss of day to day friendships with the people I treasure there.  I have missed them and the place they live so deeply.  Yet, as I said, God has been talking to me about that.  No specific words, but  its more of a feeling that my heart keeps recognizing when I sense Him near me.

I’m glad.  I never thought I’d say that.  Having the love and appreciation for the place and people minus the grief is like sighing a big sigh of relief that I didn’t know I needed.  Like a weight lifted.  So I wonder why about the timing.  Why now God?  It’s interesting to me and I wonder what that means.  What’s coming?  Why did something inside me have to be changed and/or healed and/or completed now?  Is it just so I can move on? Does it have something to do with something new coming?  Is it something eternal?  Or was God just being nice and helping me feel lighter and more present where I am?  I can’t say that the England pull has completely lost it’s hold on me, but that too, is probably a part of the process, because even though the pull is there, like a magnet, it is less strong, and it is more healthy.  I miss it but I no longer long for it in the way that I did.

Hmmmm… don’t know, but it is interesting.  We are all intricate and full of life and history.  My soul feels like a garden right now where  I think God is planting invisible things.   I hope they grow.



2 thoughts on “in the garden of my soul

  1. Shannon, I went through this regarding longing for life in the mountains. The first time we visited Tuolumne Cty after being on the mission field a big billboard greeted us just before Jamestown, “Welcome Home” I took it so personally and felt very much that this was the absolute and definitive truth to the fact that we were going to move back there. I really struggled and wept many tears with the fact that we were to live in a big metropolis. I am definitely a nature girl. But over time I have also been released from the desire to return to the past. So many illusions can be cultivated (back to the garden theme) in our short existence here on earth. That if we have enough stuff we will be somehow anchored to life. I remember when we sold our home and decided to become missionaries, it was a sense that it would be a no looking back situation. We were acknowledging that God was our permanent and true home. Interesting how when we come into a place of unexpected disappointment, we want to pick up the old things that were secure before, where history and memories define us. But to be in the “Land of Abraham” (“The Land that You Know Not Of”) as God calls Abraham to in the book of Genesis. This is the land of God’s true inheritance. Matt and I clearly heard the Lord call us to this before we left everything for Mexico.
    The confusion which God has since cleared for me is that our mission hasn’t ended. If our hearts are willing and we continue to learn to love (our main purpose here) He will satisfy us with a sense of purpose and not render us ineffective or wandering. I have come to believe that Matt and I may have come back to the US, but we are still in the Land of the Lord’s purposes. Both of us have the most amazing jobs to help some of the most helpless and needy groups of people that exist. He is constantly serving the elderly and I am falling more and more in love with the disabled, not to mentions all of my coworkers who are, like everyone on this planet, trying to figure out this crazy world. Well dear Shannon, to put it succinctly, you are not alone in this. I am so glad you have come to a place of peace with where God has planted you. I wish I could share a photo with you that was one of the first I took on my 35 mm right after I bought it. It was just before Charity’s wedding. Following this we were all to be going our separate ways. They to Hawaii, us to Mexico and Beka to Monterey. I had pulled up a small wild flower, from the bottom of it hung dirt and roots, The photo was of it cupped in my hands. I felt that the Lord said this is your life and your families. Your roots are loosened and you are in My hands. I had the sense that this was permanent. We may be planted many times and always we must know that we are in the palms of His hands. The illusion of control and permanence are just that!

  2. Hi there,
    I found your blog because of the title – the quote from the poem came up in church recently, and I was hunting down the poem it came from, as it really resonated with me. It seems you and I may be a lot alike. Yeah, coming home (to NZ) from England – I did it at the end of 1993, but it still feels like yesterday. Sometimes I still grieve for my life, loves and friendships there, but mostly I started right in the deep end, making a new life here. I had moved to the other end of the country for work, so was without my friends or family, and then my Dad died 1 year exactly after I arrived home. It was a real blessing to go back 5 years later, and visit, and recognise that I wasn’t the only one who had moved on. It was good to realise that the only place my life there now existed was in my memory, but that it wasn’t any less real because of it. Also, that my friends had continued to grow and change as well, but that we still, mostly, had a special bond. It’s 12yrs now since I’ve seen some of them. Facebook has been fantastic for keeping up with many of their lives, and a number have crossed the world to visit, but it will always remain a very special part of my life.

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