(This post was originally published on my personal blog, Of Postcards & Ink, between 2015-2016.)
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
(Dr Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!)
Well, Dr Seuss – you’ll be pleased to know that today, I’m flying to Paris.
I’m writing this while sitting in a cosy corner of Singapore’s Changi airport (unfortunately, there wasn’t a place to sit near the koi pond that’s casually situated in the centre of the airport…really.) before boarding my connecting flight to Paris and I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of “inbetween-ness”. I’ve found myself at a point where the sadness of leaving home has somewhat mellowed, while the tangibility of Paris and the year ahead has heightened, leaving me looking backward, while also looking forward.
As I look back, the past few weeks have been filled with some of my favourite people and places. They’ve been filled with countless adventures, conversations and ‘”lasts” that have simultaneously filled my heart with overwhelming thankfulness and an acute ache of sadness. From early birthday celebrations with my family and having my last day of work, to celebrating one year with my love and spending days soaking up Sydney with friends, I’ve savoured it all and it’s hard not to look back and feel a strong urge to cling to that sense of familiarity, safety and…well, home.
Saying those final goodbyes and leaving this morning was hard. Growing up, my mum sometimes joked that surely, at some point, I would just run out of tears. Well, it’s safe to say that that day has yet to arrive, but as I walked through those departure gates and set off on a plane that would take me halfway around the world, I’ve realised that that’s okay. There’s something incredibly human about loving people, having a vulnerable heart and feeling that aching sense of hollowness in your chest when you imagine and experience life without them to any degree.
In the midst of my emotional weariness and my anxieties, the sermon at church this morning met me right where I was and reminded me of the Father whose love, sovereignty and presence never tire with time, nor fade with distance. We looked at Joshua 1:1-18, wherein the command “be strong and courageous” is repeated multiple times. From God to Joshua, to the Israelites and finally to us, “be strong and courageous”. Not because we can be sure that we have everything under control (exhibit a: the visa debacle – feel free to ask me about this sometime if you ever feel like being vicariously stressed and losing any desire to interact with the French Consulate), but because God is good, He is faithful and He is always working His purposes out.
As I look ahead, the days, weeks and months before me fill me with a mixture of excitement, apprehension, thankfulness and fear, but this is the truth that will be keeping me steady through it all – through every single joy and storm to come.