August 6, 2013, I arrived in Kandern, Germany for the very first time. Ten years ago my life looked very different. I was sent out walking from Portland, and I'm sitting writing this post in a wheelchair a decade later. Three years ago on Friday (August 4), I had a wild encounter with God and Maggie and some other rando who told me God was punishing me with a disability until I'd learned my lesson about suffering and lamentation.
In a lot of ways, that feels like a loose end in my life here, but I also recognise that God has been constantly at work through all the boring days where I sit at my picnic table and stare at the trees.
After church this morning, I went to my friend Laurie's house and had hours of quality time with three incredible women who come from vastly different backgrounds as we shared life and thoughts and questions and coffee. What a wild ride this past ten years has been to bring me to this table where I can be safe and loved and celebrated for who God has gifted me to be. As much as all of them will miss me, I am so richly blessed to hear their excitement for what God is leading me into. The majority (though not all) of my goodbyes have happened already, and I'll actually be moving out of my apartment on Friday to make sure it's cleaned and ready for the next tenant. I'm still praying for the perfect housing situation to open up on the other end of this journey, but there's nothing I can do to force it to happen.
I had a couple conversations this week about how I can't manipulate God to move any faster on my physical recovery or on my apartment search. I have to trust the Lord's timing, and it's a weird place to live in full confidence that God could miraculously heal me and also actively ask for the fully accessible apartment. I hold my hands open with both of these requests being fervent. I thought a lot about the miraculous healing on Wednesday while I laid on a hospital table with my legs in stirrups and electrodes hooked up from my knees to my bathing suit areas. Thank God for people who have chosen urology as a field of study and service, but, my goodness, that's an unpleasant appointment. I had asked God to miraculously restore my bathroom function before that appointment to keep me from needing it, but that didn't happen. Weirdly enough, that doesn't shake my faith in this God who is Healer.
Maybe that's because I had some beautiful Jesus conversations and interactions with some wonderful humans living in Kandern on Thursday. My friend Heather was willing to show up on short notice to bake cookies with me because I need to use up the stuff in my pantry (obviously). In the evening, my friend Alyson brought her family and a fire pit to burn all my bills and sensitive documents that I don't need to ship with me. This Heather (there are three in town) arrived this year and has been willing to build a friendship with me knowing I'll be leaving soon whereas Alyson and I met eight years ago; both of them have encouraged me to love Jesus better. What a gift that in the middle of the weird stuff, I have these solid friendships with women like these plus families like the Cookes and the Bryans who both made space for me to share a meal with their families this week.
The next week and a half will be filled with lots more lasts and other significant markers, but I know there are a few firsts left as well. I hope my post next week will be on time, but I also can promise the following one will be sure to shift as I write from a new time zone. For now, pray with me for Plan A: Everything today.