The Bear in My life.
Some stories need to be told, even if they're weird. The best ones are told by strange people, so I feel good about sharing. I'm aware not everyone is religious, but everyone experiences God. We sense His presence in every feeling of love and hope, in every glimpse of beauty and peace, but He is also in the pain. He is with us in the uncertainty, the chaos, the loneliness, despair, and even in death. With God we take the good with the bad, the moments of ecstasy with the relentless and persistent sorrow. There is purpose in all of it. He is close to you today. We simply need a reminder of who He is and how certain He is about His love for us.
Gabe is still in Canada, working. Going on 5 months now. He's ready to come home but Covid testing keeps him there. (My kids were ready to come home in November!) We spent over two months with him, moving from condo to condo, from Toronto to Ottawa, Montreal to Vancouver. I loved every minute with my family in close quarters. And I loved every night, walking the cities with Gabe. I needed every conversation, every argument, and every cranky attitude from my kids.
We needed the time together. Life tends to separate us. Even in this big ol' house we live in. Somehow the close quarters of high-rise condos made me feel secure. Teenage years are not fun for me. My kids are growing like weeds. Stupidly we've raised them to be utterly opinionated and sometimes it's much easier for them to retreat to a corner upstairs than it is to talk it out. When we are stuck in an eighth of the square footage we are used to, there is little to no escape. It was a dream, and I mean that honestly. I love being with my often jerky kids. They are THE BEST, even when they are mean. I love them so much. It's a strange thing what God created when He designed parent/child love. (But He should know.)
Back to the bear. . .
We were staying in Vancouver which is one of my most favorite cities. Unbelievably beautiful. The ocean runs right through the city, not to mention forests and seagulls hanging out with pigeons. Black squirrels and salty air. Huge trees surrounding the most beautiful city I've ever seen. Canadian cities are so clean! Oh yeah, the bear. .
Whistler. Canadian Aspen, the perfect weekend away. Only an hour drive from Vancouver and driving along the coast is breathtaking and scary at the same time. Gabe drove the 4 wheel drive suburban along the coastal highway turns like it was a Porsche, and it was not. I knew there were bears in Whistler and I had already asked God to see one for many reasons. Bears are crazy wild animals and although I rave about being in close proximity with my family, I was also in great talks with God about a few tough things going on in my reality near and far. So I asked to see a bear. One day Heidi and I hiked up the Ascent Trail and I told her to tell God we want to see a bear. She didn't, but I did. I have asked God for many things in my life. Sometimes He feels so close to me and sometimes He feels distant. Pain makes Him feel far away. In my heart it's like He's near but just doesn't care about my pain. Or He's far away and doesn't know about it. I don't believe this, but these are the lies we tell ourselves. Like the song says, "From a distance, the Earth looks blue and green, and snow capped mountains white." I hate that song. Always have.
"2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." Genesis 1:1-2
I was still on the phone to Gabe and he drove by just in time to see the bear. His excitement did not match mine and that's ok. We ask God for different things. I ask Him for glimpses of hope. I hope you do too. This life OVERWHELMS me often and I need to know that I have a God who walks beside me. He's bigger than I am. And, He is closer than anything else in the world. He is in everything I see and He is utterly close beside and around me. He's not human or constrained in this world. He's more than my mind can conceive and this is how it is supposed to be. He is the beginning and the end. He knows my future and my past. He is the author and perfector of my faith and He is the lover of my soul. I told Him I wanted to see a bear. He brought it right to me, and I'm still smiling about it.
I'm looking forward to a fantastic 2021. No matter what I walk through, I'm asking God to show up, give me a nod and let me know He is walking right beside me.
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