Your Real Life is Hidden

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Success story..........

So, I just noticed 'so' is my favourite method of beginning a paragraph, and I shouldn't necessarily (by necessarily, I mean grammatically) do that. But I feel helpless to do anything else, so...........

As you might have read in my previous posts, I'm branching out in my following where God leads me thing. I now have three births lined up (to doula for) in December, January, and February, and possibly another one in January. In Jason's words yesterday (when I received yet ANOTHER call), 'that's like what, three births in a week?' Yeah, it is. Of course, it doesn't hurt that my name is at the top of the referral list (online) because it's alphebetical by last name (thanks, Jay!), but I know it's so much deeper than that. It's so much more divine. It's God. I truly know and believe that the moment my heart said, 'yes, I'm willing to take a risk for you, God,' He was like, 'okay, here ya go!' (And yes, God does speak in the vernacular with me, and sometimes just like me in half English and half Portunol [that would be really poor Portuguese mixed with Spanish that I spoke in Timor], because you know what? He's talking to me! and that's the language I speak. God's so intimately personal like that. It's His nature. It's we humans who try to make everything impersonal [hello, voice-prompted help lines!] and distance ourselves from each other. That's what Jesus came to do--fix the rift that opened up between people & God and people & each other when sin entered the world.)

Here I go! I'll be buying something I once swore I would never again purchase--a cell phone. But this is strictly for business, so don't think that you'll be able to call me whenever you want!! Not likely. That's why I hated the cell phone I had before for about two months or however long it was--I truly dislike being available when I'm out having some alone time cruising the clearence racks at department stores. Although for a birth, I'm always always ready to hop in the car and meet you at admissions. That's my realm, eh? So if you ever see my cell phone, or if it rings and I jump up & rush out to answer it, you'll know it's because someone's in labour! And no, you can't have the number. Call me at home and leave me a message.

Anyone out there need a doula or know someone who needs a doula (in the Kitchener area)? --I'm at the top of the list!

We're still working on the whole getting certified as a midwife in Canada thing, and again, all prayers are appreciated. God was revealing some things to me on Sunday, but the overall sense I'm getting is to wait for His timing. I know He's faithful, and the past week has been even more overwhelming proof. Truly, there is none like Him.

Oh yes, and my sister is coming into town tonight, at some point (she's trying to get on an earlier flight) after the young adult get-together, so if she arrives and you're still here, you'll get to meet her. I love her. And her husband. And they're making Jason & me an Uncle & Auntie!!!!

For any pregnant people reading this: don't walk on the ice! drink lots of water! ask questions during your prenatals and childbirth classes! make up a birth plan ( is a great site)! use a midwife or doula! and remember, childbirth is totally natural and normal and you were designed intricately by our Father to go through it and recover well! You go, girl!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Some of you may know that my passion is mothers & babies. This has been true for me ever since I was about seventeen in my senior year at high school. It's something that God placed in my heart and has taken root and grown stronger and stronger every day. Honestly? Some days it's all I think about, to be in the delivery room or to be giving a prenatal check up. The time in my life when I was most content and excited to wake up every morning and go to work was the time I spent in India, working LONG days in pretty bad conditions, sometimes going home for a few hours of sleep then coming back to take the night shift until 6 or 7 in the morning. It was hard, and regularly depressing, and terrible, and painful, and beautiful--beautiful because I was following my heart, and working with all my heart, and I was in a place of obedience. I think those two things are linked: obedience and the heart's cry.

Anyway, my trip to India came to an end, I found myself home and working at Staples. At first I was highly motivated, having just purchased my first car (Ji-Heun, my Kia Spectra, GSX, sleek, black beauty!) and needing to make an insurance payment and put gas into her. It was the back-to-school rush, and I worked a lot of nights past midnight, putting the store back together after frantic days of shopping, restocking, counting money. I'd come home dog tired (sometimes as late as 3am), sleep till noon, go back to work at 3 or 4 pm. It was a job. They gave me as many hours as I needed, and I was thankful because they worked with my school schedule as I jumped in that fall with 18 credit hours, and working every Friday night, all day Saturdays, and occasionally for a few hours on Sunday. But I didn't work as hard as I had in the beginning. Why? The hours weren't too demanding, my supers were understanding and flexible, the people I worked with were tolerable............okay, I just got this terrible feeling I'm going tangentile on you, so I'll try to come back to midwifery. I wasn't in a place where I was passionate about my work. I just worked enough hours to put gas in Ji-Heun's tank, rent a few movies, and buy a shake at uni for lunch.

Fast forward to marriage: we entered into this marriage knowing that I wanted to practise midwifery here, and from all signs I'd need to go through four INTENSIVE years of uni to do so. The draw-back is that I have to wait until I have my permanent resident visa in hand before I can apply, and all signs point to this is going to take YEARS. The application deadline is February 1st, and the immigration people tell me that it will be March or April until they are done with their half, at which point they'll be sending my paperwork back to the States for them to confirm everything about me. Bloody! Which is pushing my entry date (provided they like my application, and that I make it through the interview where they select only 20 people per year) back to September 2006, which pushes my completion date to sometime in 2010! if they accept my transfer credits from UNM, which we have no idea if they will. All signs point to no, and I'm crushed. I know God works miracles (Jason & I got married, right? that's miraculous in several ways), and I know that He's led me here and brought us together in this time and that He wants me to live out the passions He's placed within me. And I know that I'm trying to be obedient to all the little things He says, although I don't succeed all the time, and sometimes I stubbornly refuse to obey and sometimes I put off decisions whether to obey or not off so long that by the time I decide to do something He's asked, it's long over and I've been disobedient again. ARGH!

So I'm detirmined not to mess up the newest thing He's placed before me, which is a return to doula work after a three-month stint as a nanny. I liked the whole nannying thing, but it was hard, and some days I didn't want to be there at all, and I came home dead tired every night and didn't get any time to spend cleaning and barely cooked any meals, and neglected all the things I had come to love doing while waiting for employment previously. I know that God's leading me back to what I love, and this time I'll be obedient from the first opportunity instead of waiting to see if things are going to pan out or not. That's the kind of obedience we learned from our parents, wasn't it? You just do it (clean your room, wash the dishes, feed the dog) because they tell you to, not because you always know why they're asking it of you. (As a side note, I'm still wondering why my mom always wanted me to clean my room, because it didn't last for long no matter how well I did it!)

Anyway, I could use everyone's prayers in this realm, if you're willing or feel impressed to pray for me......
For my permanent resident visa to come through speedily
That I will continue to obey God and not drag my feet
For God to bring clients to me, and for volunteer births as well
That He will give me guidence as to which course of midwifery I should pursue
Most of all, that His will would be done in our lives, our marriage, and our ministry here.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Starting small...

Do you know that verse in the Bible somewhere that says: 'Do not despise the day of small beginnings'? For me, that day is today. Welcome to my first blog attempt. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, because this could get messy. After all, I'm the one in the driver's seat!

Small beginnings...yesterday I was hanging out at church, watching the snow fall while Jason was talking to Pastor Scott. I decided to read a bit in my Bible--some in I Timothy to think about what might be preached about on Sunday, and then I found myself thinking about the time I spent with YWAM in Middle of Nowhere, AB, (must have been the snow & solitude) and I wandered into Colossians. All my DTSmates will know why. I've recently been wrestling with some options and decisions that I/we have to make regarding employment, etc., and I stumbled upon the most interesting verse. Colossians 3:3 reads 'For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.' Now it all makes sense!

Shall I rewind a minute?

My life, in a nutshell, ever since high school (as well as a bit during, actually) was spent doing missions, or home in-between missions. I love being a missionary; whether I'm telling people about Jesus on street corners or preaching in a church or teaching women about health care in a remote village or working as a midwife in a hospital in a city of 8 million or holding an orphan or making myself ridiculous by singing the sapo song. People ask what's the hardest part about being a missionary: being away from family or not speaking the language or living without electricity or getting sick from the dodgy water? Coming home to 'normal' life, actually. Trying to remember why a 9-5 job is more important than building houses for people who don't have a roof over their head. The attempt to reconcile my lifestyle complete with car and loving husband and apartment and easy living with the way most of the other inhabitants of the earth subsist on rice and no medical care and having no god to call upon who gives a rip whether they live or die. Realizing how bloody hard it is doing everything on my own when I used to rely on God for my next meal or bus ride or the ability to live with the same six roommates ten months into the trip when everyone's fuse is short and greivence list is long.

So here I am, sixteen months of navigating my own life later, and I want to go back! I talked to my DTS cabinmate a few nights ago, and we were both fondly thinking of our time spent in AB and longing for a chance to return, yet mindful of the fact that it was extremely challenging while we lived it and it seems easier than our current life stage of university and employment. I'm at this 'crisis of belief' as our small group's book would say, where I have to choose between doing what I love in financial uncertainty and faith in God, or doing what provides a steady income and not working where all my desires and passions are.

I sat there, staring at the thin page as the words boldly screamed at me: you died, YOUR REAL LIFE IS HIDDEN! Hidden in Christ, yes. Like when God hid Jesus in Mary's womb. Safely hidden in Him. Yet hidden even to me (most of the time, it seems). Why didn't God make it obvious? Why to I have to work so hard to find myself in this new role as wife and lay person and immigrant and primary care giver to a child under the age of two? I know that life is never easy, but does finding my life have to be uphill both ways all the time?

Regardless, it's encouraging to know I'm not the only one struggling to find my life, and maybe even that I'm supposed to be struggling to find it. Sometimes that's all the encouragement that I need from the Scriptures: that I'm not an idiot because no one has it figured out. Thanks, Paul, for writing to Colosse.