This coming week we celebrate four years in Canada. Sometimes we talk about when we first arrived. The children like to remember how old they were, how they had their hair and how different their voices were, the freezing cold as we stepped off the plane in Halifax, collecting Roxie from cargo and watching her bounce around happily in the snow, packing all our suitcases, all of us and Roxie into the hire car, first days at new schools, moving into the house and getting used to life here. I remember the relief once we’d got through immigration and we had our visas. A new adventure.
This past week we passed another landmark too. We reached the magic number of qualifying days required to apply for Canadian citizenship. Phew! My goal for the next week is to tackle the pile of application forms and the dreaded, ‘gather the documents’ and ‘get the photos’. It’s been over two years since we finished the permanent residency process, yet still those words, ‘gather the documents’, make my heart sink as I know those documents are already on file yet I have to find and copy them all over again and, what is more, hand over another chunk of money. It will be worth it in the end, it takes about two years before we get to attend a citizenship ceremony and pledge allegiance to the Queen…
Meanwhile life goes on apace. This January feels like a survival month. It’s cold, Tim is laid off from work due to the weather and we’re waiting for his Employment Insurance to kick in. It has made us so grateful that I have a job this year, otherwise we would be in a worse position. So far though as I’ve run out of cash for food shopping, more has arrived in some other way. Sometimes God takes us to the edge so that we have to trust him with everything again. It’s not easy, but it is character building!
One of the best times in the last couple of weeks we’ve had as a family has been putting together a 1000 piece puzzle Tim bought for 50 cents at the charity shop down the road (I know it may not sound exciting, but remember it’s freezing outside). It coincided with exam week for the older three so in between studying and working, various combinations of the six of us would be bent over the puzzle. It was a good de-stresser.
In an ideal world it would be great to hop on a plane to visit England and our family for a couple of weeks each year to make up for living so very far away. We would love that, however it is beyond our reach at the present time. Missing family does not get any easier with the years and I have learned not to hold it against God. That may sound strange, but it’s easy to get into the mindset that God owes us because we did what we believed he asked us to do. He doesn’t. Our experience is that he provides what we need just at the right time. He knows.
Life is a bit of a puzzle sometimes, especially when we hit hard times. In life we’re not given all the puzzle pieces in advance to fit together. Looking back over these past four years and all the ups and downs, we can see how things fit together and work for good in our lives. We believe that the best is yet to come.
I love this,
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)