Sat up today and decided that if there’s anything I can do without moving around too much, it’s looking at stay options for a trip in November. Surfed, surfed, surfed… too many choices!
Lingered for a long while on reviews of a nice B&B. It reminded me of a trip to Vancouver 6 years ago. Heh, that was a ‘recce’ trip… I had some plans then. I guess you could say I had a dream, albeit vague. Was in LA with CL just before that leg, and told her about it. But it was not to be. That stay in Vancouver was a very restless one, and I was disturbed by the lack of peace. So I (bravely/sadly/cowardly/wisely – depends on who you ask) junked those plans when I returned to Singapore. It was tough – some friends had even given me little “going away” presents, and almost everyone who knew about this ‘recce’ trip was keen to hear updates on ‘the plan’. I grieved for a long time, but that season taught me what it meant to place that which was so dear and prized in my heart, at the feet of the Lord.
The B&B reviews triggered memories of Vancouver because I stayed in a really lovely B&B then. It was the first time I’d tried staying in a B&B, and I was travelling on my own. The curious cat in me perhaps… a few people here were concerned about me living in “a stranger’s house” by myself. Haha, either I was street-smart enough, or God put angels on overtime to keep an eye on me. I think the latter :p … I liked the B&B experience. It was cosy, and I got a feel of regular living. I relished going back to Safeway and fixing meals at ‘home’. Did stuff I couldn’t afford to as a student. It was also on this trip that I got to know J&V and their kids, and spent some time with them. R & C are so grown up now 🙂
Vancouver, July 2005
Vancouver, August 1999
Vancouver was pretty much shoved into my face back in 1999. I’d applied to go on student exchange, and didn’t make it to all the other places I’d indicated interest in. The programme administrators asked me if I’d consider going to UBC. Back then, the internet wasn’t like it is today, and all I could find were pictures of evergreens half buried in snow. I was miserable – thought they were sending me to ‘Siberia’. But I was so keen to go on exchange, so I said yes. Thankfully, MT’s Auntie G and Uncle L were not too far away in Bellingham; I felt a bit better (Didn’t even have luggage then – thankfully MT lent me her luggage and winter clothes!) I found out later that there were several other Singapore students on exchange at the same time – though in the end, I didn’t see them very much. I did however meet a Singaporean girl, SQ, who was newly matriculated. We stayed in the same dormitory, and I saw her often. She was also a Christian, and we would have conversations about God. Also made a few friends from Hong Kong and Japan – have mostly lost touch though.
Re-entry had its usual difficulties, but life went on. It was only when I’d been working for a while that Vancouver resurfaced – it turned out to be one of the good places to pursue some interests. That’s when that little dream started forming itself. Until the ‘recce’ trip put a stop to it.
Was it a waste?
On hindsight, not at all.
It marked the first of many lessons in learning the joy of surrendering to the Lord. Learning the beauty of brokenness. Learning to always believe that He is good. All the time – especially the times when He is silent and all light seems to go out. Learning that He has a plan and perfect timing. The recce trip took place just over a month after I was baptised – 10 years after I first started going to church. I remember sitting in my room at the B&B, praying and wondering what my ‘baptised life’ would be like. Well, God certainly did not procrastinate in answering that prayer!
If I’d gone ahead with that dream, I’d have missed out on all the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ that has happened on this path I’m now on. I’d probably never have discovered the other side of the country – lovely Ottawa 😉 Not have met the people I have from so many places, been part of the stories & journeys that I have, had the failures and mistakes I have, and come to understand the things that I do.
God knew better.
I have a better idea of that dream now. Or should I say, better dreams 🙂 I have much more clarity, and I’d like to believe I’ve come some way in learning how to hold my hopes with firm but yielded hands. Only the Lord knows where I need to be next. I sure hope it’s Canada, but only God knows… He always surprises me anyway 🙂