Arriving Home to Find a Message to Myself From 2009

I walked out of the bus after backing it into my parents’ driveway. Everyone else had already gone inside. Earlier that week, my dad had painted a message on a huge blue tarp and stretched it over the garage door:

“Welcome Home Willie and Kids. Love Ya.”

Across the street from my parents’ house, an Amish man slowly drove his horses through the field, gathering the loose hay into long piles. The machine made a soft clacking sound. The Amish man was expressionless, guiding the horses with small movements of the reigns – the most indiscernible motions completely changing their course.

* * * * *

It is difficult to know what to think right now. There are many strange paths the mind takes after finally returning home after a great adventure.

The last four months almost seem as if they never happened. Everything here seems exactly the same as when we left – the people, the places, the pace of life. It’s a strange thing, the way life continues on when you’re not around. Perhaps this is disconcerting because it reminds me that, when I die, this world will keep spinning.

But there is also the “what next?” element to think about. Now that we’ve done what we always wanted to do, what next? How do we move forward from here? How do we top this? How can we regroup?

* * * * *

Walking down into my parents’ basement gave me a very strange feeling. If you’ve read “Building a Life Out of Words,” then you know that we moved into this basement after ending up over $50,000 in debt. We moved in here, in late 2009, to get a fresh start.

And now we’re back. That can be a little disorienting. How did we end up back here again? Where do we go from here?

Then, as I walked into the basement bathroom, I saw a piece of paper glued to the mirror. It was something I had printed out and put up there almost three years ago, just after we had moved in. Just after my business had gone down the tubes. Just after I had decided to write for a living. This is what the paper said:

Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will – then you will receive all that He has promised. Hebrews 10:36

A message from my past, something that I had typed in 2009, speaking into my present.

Patient endurance.

That is what I need now.

17 Replies to “Arriving Home to Find a Message to Myself From 2009”

  1. I think what you are feeling is something we face in many areas of life. A church wonders what to do after a campaign to build a new building. What does it do next? After fighting hard for a promotion at work and getting it, someone feels what next? That seems to be our nature. We’re always looking to what the next adventure will be.

  2. It is interesting that we’re tempted to believe that because the surroundings are the same, we haven’t changed either.

  3. Timely. I needed that reminder this morning of patiently waiting for this promises to come true.

    Excited to catch up sometime and chat about the trip over some coffee at Prince St. Oh – that’s one thing that has changed. Complete renovation, I don’t think it’s even open yet and it’s been a few weeks. So there you go – not all has stayed the same here in Lanc :)

  4. We’re always straining to see around the next corner, aren’t we? But as you said (also in “Building a Live Out of Words”) — and this is a loose quote — sometimes we can only see as far as the beam of the headlights. And that is enough to keep us moving forward.

  5. So glad you’re safely there. And now the wait begins…but you’ve been here before and you are ready. Something tells me it will not be a long wait, not long at all. Welcome back, Shawn and Maile and beautiful family.

  6. Shawn,
    I don’t know if Peter told you (via FB) that we took a similar, yet not so, Road Trip West last summer and I remember having those same thoughts upon our return home—-“did that really happen or was it just a dream? how could life here carry on without us?” And most of all “Dear God, don’t let me forget…..” I am SO glad—in the grand scheme of things no matter how much I do, that GOD never forgets about us!
    Welcome Back.
    Kim Anderson

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