i found them scattered throughout the rock bed in the backyard.
treasures of the little ones who lived here before mine.
i collected them, washed them off and placed them in a small bowl in our home.
they belong here.
other than the small handful of shells, i didn't know anything about the previous family who lived here.
our mailbox still cradles letters meant for them.
i take my pen and slowly cross off the address and write return to sender,
thinking of my own mailbox.
the mail that travels the miles to find me here.
i wondered about them...
the family that lived here before,
but the shells were the only things that remained of them.
tony stood in the garage yesterday, rounding up little ones into the van when a car stopped in front of our driveway and a man got out.
"you canadian?" he asked.
deciding to not get into the explanation of the fact that the only one fully canadian is me, he just looked at him.
"you see, the ones who lived here before you? they were my friends. youth pastors of the church up the road. they left here to go pastor a church in a place called saskatchewan. heard it's cold up there."
suddenly, it doesn't matter that i don't know her, the mama who loved her husband and her children in this home before me.
i don't need to.
around the same time that i began to wrestle with the knowledge that i was leaving my home, my country...she received the same news.
around the same time that i crossed a border from one country to the next...she did too.
and the One Who allowed it all...He holds us both in His Hands.
this knowledge, the glimpse into a heart that lived here before me has brought me comfort in a way i can't begin to explain.
has reminded me of His sovereignty...that He knits lives and stories and brings something beautiful and good out of pain and fear when we trust Him with it all.
that the tears we cry and He stores water the lives of those we know nothing about.
her tears have brought tender healing to my homesick heart...
and He strengthens my shaky spirit.
and i'm encouraged to continue to take each new step...
this weekend, i was introduced to her music and i heard the song below just before i heard my neighbour's words...He uses our tears, our pain, in a thousand ways.
trust Him...believe Him...