I Cried In Church Today

I cried in church today.

Not that I’ve never done that before. Anything can make me do that – a song, a prayer, a hug from an old friend.

Today I cried because I saw something I rarely see: community.

We gathered in a building behind the Tim Hortons – not just me and my people, but them and their people.

Multiple churches, multiple dialects of faith, all in one spot because it’s the end of the summer and this is what we do at least once. We pile in, we sing songs that we all know collectively, and someone chosen from the community speaks a message. We drink coffee together and we leave, feeling like real connection was made in that hour. Pastors, deacons, elders, middlers, young adults, teenagers, children, men and women – anyone who has a habit of going to the Church on a Sunday morning is there in equal measure.

Today, however, felt different.

The bodies were so close, the voices were so loud. I felt surrounded by a choir. My voice joined in, weakened by tears, strengthened by the words.

One pastor stands up, introduces the mayor and two female police officers. One of them is decked in the Mountie Red, another is on duty in black. They’re all asked to share why they are here today.

The mayor takes the microphone and smiles nervously: “I am here because I believe in the power of community. I am not a man of religion, by any means, but listening to you all sing just now – I felt the Spirit of God here. It’s undeniable. Smithers will benefit because of you.”

The woman in red takes the microphone. She’s young, new to town and new to the force. She’s a police officer, speaking publicly in a church building; she is practically a modern miracle. And why shouldn’t she be?

“I came here as a police officer because I want to help people. I know everyone says that, but it’s really true for me.”

The woman in black takes the mike from her. She starts to say something, but then she pauses, putting her finger to her ear. We sit in silence, wondering. After a moment, she says, “10-4, on my way” or something similar. Then she tells us, “I’m going to make this really quick.”

A laugh ripples across the crowd.

“I am here representing Cops for Cancer. We bike across the province every year to raise money for pediatric research. And if you don’t think pediatric research is relevant here – we all know of a little boy who is in Vancouver fighting for his life right now.”

We nod, and tears fill my eyes again. One of our own, a 10 year old boy who hadn’t been feeling well lately, had discovered his body was made more of cancer than blood and flesh and bone. Just a few days ago.

She tells us what we can do to help, and then she runs down the aisle of the sanctuary and disappears, because that’s her job. Any time, all the time.

We take up an offering. I pray that it goes directly where it is needed.

And then a man from the Salvation Army comes and speaks to us. He shows us a picture of this sculpture that is sitting in Toronto at this very moment.

 

 

It’s called “Jesus the Homeless.” He is lying on a bench in a shroud, and the only way to know that it’s him, is to see his nail-pierced feet peeking out. He speaks volumes.

We are led all over the Scripture, reading portions of passages where Jesus did nothing but reach out and spend his time with the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the unclean, the addicted, the outcast and the sinner – and the religious leaders did nothing but condemn him for it.

These passages are called The Gospel, or “Good News.”

Except it’s not news.

It’s not news that Jesus was a bit of a rebel, that he broke a lot of rules, made a lot of people angry with his all-surrounding compassion for just anyone.

It’s not news that Jesus would rather have dinner with a prostitute or a tax collector than a religious hypocrite.

It’s not news that Jesus never avoided anyone for the sake of his reputation.

It’s not news that he didn’t notice skin colour or background or age or gender.

So why do we act like it is?

I wept when I saw that homeless Jesus. I’ve seen him before.

I’ve also seen the poor Jesus, the aboriginal Jesus, the sick Jesus, the hungry Jesus, the black Jesus, the addicted Jesus, the gay Jesus, the mentally ill Jesus, the prostitute Jesus, the angry Jesus, the bitter Jesus, the strung-out Jesus, the imprisoned Jesus, the orphaned, abandoned, helpless, overlooked Jesus.

And I have not loved him.

I cried in church today, because we were all there. We all heard it, we all saw it. Even the mayor knows it now.

He’s right there, shrouded in the form of our community, just waiting to be picked up, dusted off, and taken in. It’s not too late.

Because once we’ve seen, we cannot unsee.
Because maybe, if we’re more like Jesus, then more people will want to become like us.
Because we all have a story, and we are all more than our labels, our backgrounds, our denominations or our mistakes. This is not news.

I cried in church today, and I think maybe God did too.

 

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How We Had a Kick-Ass Wedding (Without Kicking Our Wallet’s Ass!)

It’s not even the middle of January, and already, it seems that “wedding season” is beginning. (Did it ever really stop?)

I love weddings. And I’ve been to some pretty fantastic ones. But I have to be honest…my favourite one so far…was mine.

A lot of people know that we dated, got engaged, and married pretty quickly. For those who are new, it was the span of an entire 5 1/2 months. And only 9 WEEKS of it was spent planning the actual wedding. We didn’t have a lot of money. We didn’t have a lot of fancy ideas. We didn’t even have Pinterest. And yet, our special day was an event that friends still talk about with fondness.

Now that our time is over, and more friends are joining the revelry, they’ve started to ask our secrets. I will gladly divulge them here, through many a picture and story. Because everyone deserves to know that they don’t need $20,000+, or the best food, or the highest-rated photographer (although, we lucked out MAJORLY, as you’re about to see!).

1. I found my wedding dress at Value Village, a good two years before I was even close to getting married.

Did you know that, on average, all wedding dresses at VV cost only $130? Some of them are truly hideous, and unless you’re a skilled seamstress with a fantastic vision in mind of what it COULD be, you should try them on just for a laugh. That’s how I found mine – I was having one of those silly, fun shopping days with my ladies – where I wanted to try everything on without actually buying any of it. You know, that Best Customer of the Day Award.
As we all know, VV can offer some pretty great finds, and I was having a ball as my girlfriends brought me costume after costume. And then, the fateful words left my lips: “Hey, one of you should go find a wedding dress! That would be hilarious!”

Next thing I knew, Michelle brought back this pure white cloud of gloriousness, and I was sure of 3 things: a.) It was not common VV fare, b.) It wasn’t “my type” and c.) it wouldn’t fit anyway.

I was only right about one thing.

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It was one of those moments where you could feel the magic falling upon the room. I opened the door…the ladies gasped…I saw myself in the full-length mirror…was in shock for awhile…had complete strangers, including men, coming up to me, saying, “I don’t know who you are, I don’t know your life, but honey, you need to buy this dress.

So, I did. With the wallets of all my ladies combined. (I was totally just gonna do it myself, but they insisted. This was a great foreshadowing of situations to come.)

And then… almost two years went by. That magnificent little dress hovered in the closet like a ghost, wondering if it would ever fulfill its purpose.
And then…one week into the planning of the Big Day, I tried it on again.

It didn’t fit. I would have had a heart attack, except that the dress, in its tightness, prevented my heart from going anywhere.

2. A very skilled seamstress and a little box of Dryel go a long way.

Our wedding colours were red, black and white. When my very-skilled-seamstress friend Jeannette saw that my dream dress no longer fit, 8 weeks before the Big Day, she just laughed and said, “Oh, I’ll fix that.”

But first, we noticed it should be drycleaned. I tried to calculate another $200 into the budget, until Jeannette, once again, saved the day with her wisdom. For $25, I bought a box of something magic called Dryel. You put your items into the Dryel bag, tumble it in the dryer and voila! You’ve just dry-cleaned your own clothes.

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As for making my dress fit without making me lose 10 pounds over night…a red panel with a black lace-up was found to be extremely forgiving and super matchy-matchy.

(What are we at now? Dress $130 + Dryel $25 + Alterations $100 = $255. Who do you know that has spent $255 on their wedding dress? ME.)

3. Keep it simple, silly.

We each chose 3 close friends to be a member of the wedding party. There wasn’t really a “best” of anyone. For their Big Day outfits, I told the girls, “Just use whatever little black dress and red high heels you might already happen to have in your closet.” I honestly didn’t care. I like variety, and I think making every girl wear the exact same style of a pre-chosen dress could potentially be asking for trouble.
It couldn’t have gone better if I planned it myself.

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Since we found a mother lode of Red Converse at Army & Navy for $14.99 a piece, we told the boys we’d take care of that, as well as their red suspenders and red bow ties. All they would need to come up with is a long-sleeved black button-up shirt and black dress pants. They accomplished this with utmost flair, and our wedding gift to them was taken care of. BOOM.

Now when it came to actually finding bow ties and suspenders, that proved a little more challenging. We only found stores that carried one thing or the other, not both. And even though we liked variety, we kiiiinda wanted the reds to be the same on these particular accessories.

So we prayed a little, made some phone calls, took some chances AND!

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Van Halen fans, take note.

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Between Le Chateau (I ❤ you 4ever!) and Black & Lee, we managed to find 4 sets of suspenders and 3 bow ties, ALL the same beautiful cherry-red colour. If that doesn’t make you believe in God, I don’t know what will.

(Money Tally: $255 dress + $60/4 pairs of shoes + $70/4 suspenders & 3 bow ties + $50 special Van Halen tie = $435.)

4. Do it outdoors.

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If you have a willing friend with a big backyard, you can forget about paying to rent a church or a hall or a courthouse etc. What about the weather, though, am I right? Well, again, I prayed my butt off, and I got NOT ONLY the sunniest, warmest day in Northern BC in late September BUT I got the sunniest, warmest WEEK leading up to the Big Day in Northern BC in late September. The very next day, it rained buckets. I’m telling you, prayer gets shit done.

**We did have a big white tent on stand-by, just in case.

5. You’d be surprised at what $200 at a flower shop can get you.

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Plus 3 small bouquets and 7 boutonnieres. We set our budget, stuck to it, got the simplest arrangements, and had an amazingly accomodating florist. (Shout-out to Larkspur Floral Design & Gift Baskets in Smithers, BC!)

6. Make it a Facebook event.

I know, it’s SO not classy or pretty, but doing our invitations this way accomplished so many things: a.) time-crunch proof RSVP, b.) a list of names you can always easily access, c.) update-able to all guests if any information changes, d.) paper-free. That being said, sometimes, getting some people to actually RSVP on time is like pulling teeth. Therefore, I’m going to add an e.) with one click of a button, you can private message ALL of your guests with a gentle reminder to RSVP…and then again a couple weeks later with an even gentler reminder to RSVP….

7. Catering shmatering.

One of the BIGGEST costs for a wedding is the FOOD. Can I suggest a potluck? Once you have your easily-accessible guest list on Facebook, NOW you can message them about what they can bring to the table! (Once they’ve finally made up their mind and RSVP’d, of course.) If anyone in the wedding party has an deathly allergy *coughcoughMyGroomcoughcough*, make this specifically known so that it won’t get tossed into the food by accident. Or, your guests can make that dish and put a VERY CLEAR sign next to it that details any potential allergens.

Having a potluck was so fun for us! Friends got so creative with all different kinds of appies and main dishes, with some different ethnic tastes thrown in!

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Turns out that my super-skilled-seamstress friend Jeannette is also a super-skilled-wedding-cake-maker. She threw this in as a GIFT.

On that note…

8. Know the Power of the Nifty-Gifty.

Delegating and gifting is a magical combination. If you ask someone to provide a service for you, ie: that gorgeous wedding cake, tell them that this can be their gift to you and they don’t need to bring anything else. (It really only works if a FRIEND is providing the service, haha.) Because of our adopted family and actual family’s generosity, we didn’t have to pay for the majority of renting the hall, the cake, the wine, the table centrepieces (double duty of our main photographer…man, do I know some talented people or what?) or the food. You don’t want your day to be remembered by how expensive it looked, but by how much love was poured into it. And man, we had buckets.

9. Take the Plunge…and Hire a Decorator.

Doing this made us a little nervous financially, but in the end, it was SO worth it. I can’t stress this enough. For $725, we received a GORGEOUS hall for the night AND we didn’t have to clean any of it up afterwards. Between the decorator, a few volunteers from our guests and a small donation to a 4-H club, the Round Lake Hall was returned to its normal state, and we didn’t have to worry about a thing. After all the fun we had, we were exhausted, and cleaning was the last thing we wanted to do. It’ll be the last thing you want to do too.

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Image10. Take another, littler plunge and hire a professional make-up/hair artist as well.

I didn’t really feel that this could actually be important but when I got to the end of my Big Day and I realized that my hair was still in place and my make-up was still on, I knew I’d made the right decision.
Mine and the girls’ make-up was done by my former youth pastor’s wife Kim. She’s gone to Hollywood and given make-overs to celebrities, yet she chooses to grace Smithers with her beautiful presence. She’s kind of a big deal.
And then Allison, another church friend, made a house-call with a baby to do our hair. We didn’t really know what we wanted, but we tried to describe it verbally, and she took it and ran with it like a champ.

**Believe it or not, your wedding day is kind of like being in a play or a movie. Not in the sense that you’re performing for everyone there, but there is a definite element of “costume”, “design,” “lighting,” “photography” and “make-up.” Having artists there who do this sort of thing for a living are invaluable. Your wedding photos will have a huge difference too. Hence, why I also decided to get the false eyelashes for myself and the girls. Now you can actually see our eyes, hurray! (And by purchasing the make-overs/hair-do’s for them, my wedding gift to them was also done, double hurray!)

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Michelle has make-up, I do not. Helloooo, lighting difference!

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And helloooo Bride!      ImageImage

(Money Tally: $435 + $200 flowers + $735 decorator + $400 make-up/hair= $1,770)

11. Have a few photographers, who are just starting out.

You’ll get different points of view of your Big Day from each one, and if you’ve seen their pictures already and you like them, who cares if they’re “new”? It’ll cut your costs way down from choosing someone who has been established for a long time, with a company name. We had 3 photographers, all friends, 2 who made their photos a “gifty”, one who was 8 months pregnant and also made our centrepieces as a “gifty.” We got her a hefty Starbucks card. (Now, 16 months later, she’s one of the most requested photographers in Smithers – and we were her first wedding! I hope she’s charging a lot more now; she deserves it.)

12. Make a photo-guestbook!

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$30, Shoppers Drug Mart, boom you’re done. Now you have a photo album with everyone’s lovely comments and it’ll last forever.

(Money Tally: $1,250.)

13. Be KIND to yourself.

It’s a Big Day. Even if it’s the funnest thing to ever happen to you (which for me, it was), there’s going to be adrenaline and rush and hugging/talking/shaking hands with everyone who came to see you.

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EAT SOMETHING. THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

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TAKE THESE DAMN THINGS OFF.

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AND PUT THESE DAMN THINGS ON.

Drink water frequently, take deep breaths, don’t be hungover. It’s that simple.

14. Get married and make merry!

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15. Realize that you are just getting started.

Sure, we only paid roughly $2,000. Sure, we had a lot of things handed to us and got our socks blessed off. That doesn’t mean that every day since then has been easy or inexpensive. Sometimes I look at these pictures and don’t recognize myself in them anymore. But I always go back to this day when I forget who I am or why I’m here. Love, and the Journey; that’s it. “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”  A Wedding Day is important, but a Marriage is even more important. You might have been King and Queen for the day, but if you don’t have real love in your hearts and lives, it means nothing.

So prepare for your day, save your money, call your friends. Or forget everything I just listed and elope. I don’t care. Just make sure that when you say “I do,” you say “I do” to all of it. Cause there’s gonna be a lot of it. And this glorious day…

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…will turn into this quiet moment.

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And all of it…the highs and lows, shocking twists and throat-gulping turns, the turbulent sea at rest after a storm…all of it will be good, good, good. Just let your heart keep beating Love…the Journey…Love…the Journey…Love…the Journey.

xo Carly

** MAJORLY NECESSARY UPDATE**

I cannot believe I forgot about this.

16. “Do you have the wing?”

clergymanpbride2

 

 

 

The way our wedding rings came to be is one of my favourite parts of this story.

As I have mentioned before, Steve was once-upon-a-time engaged to someone that we tenderly call Voldemort.

After she left him 6 weeks before their wedding for his groomsman, AND after a 4 month spiel that resembled a train wreck, Steve found himself with a pair of her rings that he just didn’t want to deal with quite yet. He packed them up in their little boxes, intending to pawn them eventually.

A year and a half later, he showed them to me. They were beautiful, thought up from his brain with the help of Spence Diamonds. In other words, they had not been cheap.

Looking at them, I felt sad for him, but hopeful for us. If we pawned them, perhaps they would bring in enough money for us to purchase our own. We both agreed that it was time for this chapter to be closed, to start a new one.

And then, believe it or not, my mom came up with this brilliant idea: we knew a really cool jeweler in Smithers who was gaining experience and reputation by the day. What if he could melt them down and make brand new rings out of them?

beautiful colorful sunset with sun rays

HAAAAH-LAY-LU-YAHHHH!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a few email exchanges, one in-person computer design sesh, and one weekend, Gaelen Van Gorkom gave us these:

wedding rings2 wedding rings

 

 

 

 

 

And that was just his first time melting down an already existing ring and making a new one. Now, he does it regularly, and he’s pretty spectacular. (Also, his original designs are out of the world amazing.) And because we already had the materials, he only charged us for the labour, even going so far as to throw an extra diamond in my ring for free when the design called for an extra.

Steve and I love our rings. We feel naked without them, actually. I think we would love them on a normal basis, but knowing their Phoenix-Rising-From-The-Ashes origin story makes them even more treasured.

Thank you, Handmade Engagement Rings – thank you, Gaelen. And hey, THANK YOU, VOLDEMORT. Without you and your hurty ways, we would not be lovin’ this journey we’re on today.

Here Comes Baby!

Nope, not mine.

Neener neener neener.

So, for the past 36 hours, I have been a little jittery. Can’t eat, can barely sleep, and when I wake up, my neck refuses to move. My phone has not left my side.

Let me tell you why.

Soon and very soon, a little lady is going to make a scene for my dear friends Tom & Emily. And they have graciously allowed ME to be a part of their birthing experience, as the assisting doula. My very first time “having” a baby could be tomorrow, could be next week, could be any minute now. And there are just some things I need to chat about.

Last March, when I decided to start the journey to become a doula, I had no idea where it would take me. The people I would meet, the knowledge I would gain, the emotions I would feel. And now, here I am, on the cusp of the real thing. All the videos, books, stories and teachings have led me (and us) to this moment.

Are we ready?

I personally think Tomily are. They have taken full intentions to be informed about the pregnancy and birth of their little one – to the point of teaching me a few things as well. With Tom’s love of books and Emily’s practice in nursing, they are a dream team. Of course, they are bound to be nervous and afraid. They will make mistakes along the way, just like everyone else does. But knowing their story and where they’ve come from, I have full confidence that Baby Girl will never want for love and a helping hand through this world.

Am I ready? Only God knows.

Throughout this whole journey of learning, I have had my moments.

My blubbering “omg birth is such a beautiful, amazing, miraculous experience, look at those little fingers and toes, so perfect, i want to love all the babies in all the world” moments.

And my “hahaha EFF no I am never doing that, kthanxbai” moments.

Which, I’m sure, is nothing new. But, to me, everything is new. I am literally about to see and do something I have never seen or done before, and I have no idea what to expect. Videos don’t count, stories don’t count. For me, for Tomily, for this little one, everything is a clean whiteboard that will have a completely unique experience drawn into it with permanent marker. And somewhere in that piece of art, I’ll be there.

I would like to be a splash of green and a hint of purple.

Green because I want to see growth; in myself as a doula and in Tomily as partners and now parents.

Purple because this is a moment of royalty. Tom and Emily will become the King & Queen of their home, with a Princess in their arms. Even I, the slave (which the word “doula” is originally derived from), will become more than that.

I have the strong feeling that all of us will be changed in an instant. Purple and green all over the place.

And so while I may not feel totally ready, I’m ready to get ready. To face the moment of truth, where Heaven kisses Earth and says, “Here is another gift. Peace be with you.”

I can’t wait.

xo Carly xo

a letter to me

Dearest C ~

Hey, baby girl. How you doing? I sense something different about you.  You’re…lighter. The smile comes a little easier, the heart believes the truth a little more.

You’re so free. Not completely, but remember 10 years ago, when you were so weak you could barely dance at all? I think you know at least 3 hard-core moves now. This is good.

I know, I know. You don’t like to remember the 10-years-ago days, the barely-danceable days, those relentless wilderness days. But you know what? You are so brave. To the point that you not only thought about the past, but you actually drove the road that takes you back to the memories. You willingly got into a vehicle, and this time you didn’t dread every minute that passed by, taking you further away from what you wanted. Instead, you anticipated it, because deep down you knew it didn’t matter anymore. This place held no fear for you now. So you faced it, and you won.

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Driving away from the wreck of the day, and I’m thinkin’ ’bout callin’ on Jesus
Cause love doesn’t hurt, so I know I’m not fallin’ in love, I’m just fallin’ to pieces.

Do you remember?

Do you remember being so afraid that you could barely appreciate the raw beauty of the world around you? Do you remember not being able to tell anyone why you were there, yet you so desperately wished that someone would hear you screaming it out from the inside?

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Do you remember becoming a teenager and this was all you knew? And you believed that this was ALL you would ever know? You ran all over these grasses and bushes, singing and dancing to your own little beat. You were prepared for your life to be over, before it really began. You dreamt about your first kiss, feeling a tiny hand grasp your pinkie in trust, living a true blessed existence in a world of purpose. But they were only dreams to you, because you had already accepted that life as we knew it was ending soon. The new millennium was going to usher in economic collapse, war, famine, disease, death. All the worst things you could think of, this was your future. After all, God had told your family it was coming, so it must be true, right? He was always right and true, and he had had enough of this dirty world. Judgment was coming. And all you could do was hide, here in this wilderness, and wait. Hope, pray, that you would counted worthy to escape, or at least be killed quickly.

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Do you remember how you would play in these places, the friends you brought to life with your mind? The stories you would make up, not knowing yet that you were meant to create them?

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Where you would swim in your underwear because literally no one else was around except your mom. The long float, winding through the fields, all the way down to Willow Lake. No life jacket, just you and the water and the mosquitos.

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Do you remember trying to go to sleep on the couch that faced this view, on December 31st, 1999? You clutched your blanket in fear as the clock ticked closer to midnight, waiting for the cosmic boom that would announce the end of the world. Do you remember waking up the next morning, facing this, wondering if all the people you knew in town were now dead?

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally show.

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Do you remember how time went on and nothing changed? And even though you were afraid of what the next day might hold, you were still determined to possess something you could call your own. One window sill. That’s all you needed. It still lives, it’s still yours. Good job, baby girl.

Do you remember when the day finally came and you were 15 and you were told that yes, it was time to leave. To go to the town. To have a chance at living, at growing, maybe even falling in love. After 4 years of wilderness, animals farmed and definitely un-farmed. Snow taller than your waist. Trekking every which way for survival whether by quad or snowmobile or foot. Storing up food that was never eaten except by kleptomaniac squirrels. Watching your mother break down and cry after the windmill for electricity died, and again when the pipes froze so you had to melt buckets of snow-water, and again when your favourite dog got into the anti-freeze and seizured her way into a yellow-tongued death. Four years of wanting to cry and ask, “Why are we doing this? Why is this happening to us?” but never doing it, because in the big picture, none of this mattered. All you could do was let go of anything that felt like emotional attachment; it was too painful. Too risky. And yet, even after all that practice at letting go, you still couldn’t quite shake this place after you left. It had become a part of you, burrowed into your bones, and even though you were free, you still weren’t. Fear still had a stranglehold, the wilderness still possessed your dreams. And you didn’t realize it because, for a little while, you had another battle to fight. The war you’d been waiting for never came, but as it turns out, the government of your country cares about those who disappear into the woods, without any legal papers or intentions. So you gathered up your intentions, paid and struggled and told and re-told the story for those papers. 3 years, and now they’re sitting in your file cabinet. You now possess more than a window sill bookshelf, that’s for sure, darlin’.

One week ago, you went back. You captured these memories on a phone that you used to think only rich people could afford. Ten years since this was your home, and 3 years in a row celebrating Canada Day with a genuine rush of patriotism in your heart. A double-anniversary, metaphors deep. You returned, and guess who you brought with you?

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That’s right. A freakin’ husband. (And lovely friend Heather who was sweet enough to snap this!)

Hello world, how you been?
Good to see you, my old friend

Sometimes I feel as cold as steel
And broken like I’m never gonna heal
I see a light, a little grace, a little faith unfurl
Hello world.

You are so loved by this man, and by so many others. Some know your story, lots of others don’t, but when they meet you, they can tell you’re different somehow. They can’t quite put their finger on it, but they know you’re special. You’re strong. You’re unbelievably goofy, but you’re not helpless.

Look at you. What a journey! You have remembered so much, let go of so much, learning to hold on even more. But you’re not done yet. You grew up thinking you would never reach your 20s, and now, HECK YOU MIGHT EVEN MAKE IT TO 26. And you’re still singing.

Sing it for the boys…sing it for the girls
Every time you lose it, sing it for the world
Sing it from the heart, sing it ’til you’re nuts
Sing it out for the ones that’ll hate your guts
Sing it for the deaf, sing it for the blind
Sing about everyone that you left behind
Sing it for the world, sing it for the world

So be free, little butterfly. This cocoon has disintegrated, and it’s your time to shine with all the colours that have, at times, been painfully swirled into your patterns. Go, go, fly! See where it takes you. But always remember where you came from, not because it inhibits you, but because it brought you to where you are now. Your Father smiles because now you know that He isn’t your enemy, just waiting to bring His wrath upon your life; He is your friend, He was there all along. People may fail, you may fail but He and His love never does. Your life is pure proof.

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I know they say you can’t go home again,
I just had to come back one last time…
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here, it’s like I’m someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could walk around, I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory,
From the house that built me.

So when the bad days come, mornings where you wake up from a dream that felt so real, just remember this day. Remember these pictures. They are the truth and you are the story-teller.
Get out there and keep telling it.
Love,
 ~ C
PS: The portions of music listed are what played on my iPhone on the trip up to the property. NOTHING is an accident! Oh, except for the last one by Miranda Lambert. I thought of that one all on my own. 😉