Sights unseen in 2015

I have always loved New Year’s Day. Although it is just another day, the change of the calendar to the new year is significant in my mind, representative of all the possibilities that lie ahead and the closure of last year’s events. There is hope – hope for spring and new growth, hope for a renewed enthusiasm to tackle life’s goals and hope for new opportunities. For me, New Year’s has become a symbol and reminder that life is not, and should not be, stagnant.

This New Year’s, however, our family will be experiencing a lot more change than usual. As we move across the country, from Ontario to B.C., we will be facing a lot of new things – new town, new home, new jobs, new school, new church family, new neighbours and, hopefully, new friends. As can be expected, our home has seen a wide range of emotions over the last several months, from anxiety over decision-making to excitement about new careers; from joy over moving closer to extended family to fear of meeting new classmates; from sadness at saying goodbye to old friends to happiness and comfort at seeing God’s hand clearly leading us.

Along the way there have also been unexpected emotions such as anger, bitterness, hope and relief. To say it’s felt like a roller coaster is an understatement! While many of these changes are exciting, this much change can be daunting and scary as well. At times I have resisted and resented the changes. Temporarily abandoning my love of all things new, I’ve longed for things to stay the same, for the stability and comfort that comes from a more predictable life.

Finding a new house has been the most challenging part. After weighing many options, we found ourselves buying a place, sight unseen, just in the nick of time – something we said we would never do. It took no small amount of effort to give up control and let go of the desire for things to go exactly the way we had envisioned. But the strangest thing happened when we did: relief, and peace! We discovered that it was far more stressful to have no home at all and to cling to our own ideals than it was to have a home waiting for us, despite having only seen glimpses of it in photographs. Seeing the home wasn’t as important as knowing we had a home. Suddenly packing was easier, purging was easier, saying goodbye was easier and imagining life in our new city was not only possible, it was something to look forward to!

Peace awaits us
Many times in the last few months I have been reminded of Jesus comforting his disciples in John 14:2, saying, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. . . . In my Father’s house are many rooms.” (The KJV says “many mansions” – what a luxurious thought!) The truth is that this earthly house we’ve purchased is not the only home we are journeying to, sight unseen. What peace waits for us in this chaotic life if we can not only accept this truth but allow it to shape how we live here and now! Instead of attempting to create our own version of a perfect life, we can receive that which God has already worked out for us. With our minds focused on where we are going, perhaps it becomes easier to view our lives through the lens of the reality that God is making all things new, and that his plans for us are far better than anything we can imagine, whether that’s here on earth or in the mansion he has prepared for us.

As I begin the position of Features Editor for Christian Courier in January, I am excited for the opportunity to discover and showcase God-given glimpses of our eternal home through his renewing and redemptive work, already happening all around us. Being “reformed,” for me, celebrates the fact that God is constantly renewing his world, in and through his people in the most unexpected and delightful ways. I feel that through this new role, I have just been given a back stage pass to meet his players in this kingdom work and to share the wonders of what God is doing through them. I can’t think of a more fitting way to ring in the New Year!
 

  • Monica Kronemeyer deRegt joined the Christian Courier editorial team in January 2015. She recently moved from Ontario to Abbotsford, B.C., with her husband and three children. From a very young age, Monica has been drawn to the written word, both as a form of expression but also as a conduit for ministry. She believes that everyone has a story to tell, and that God’s story is shared through our stories. Monica grew up in northern B.C. and graduated from The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta. In addition to writing and editing, Monica loves reading (especially out loud to her children every night!), cooking, learning, singing, and exploring new places with her family, although she is known to be left behind reading every single plaque and trail marker and information poster along the way! Monica invites readers to contact her with ideas for the Features pages, and looks forward to exploring together with the Christian Courier community what it means to follow Christ in every part of the story of our lives.

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