It has been a while since I have written. Moving takes a lot out of a person. There is the frantic trying to make sure you have everything you need in the suitcases. There is the throwing out of things you won't possibly need (you hope). There is the saying good byes, crossing the t's and dotting the i's.
Then when you get to your destination, you have to do the unpacking. You realise that "Oh my gosh, I have forgotten that." Or the worst yet, "I thought I had thrown that out." And you have to spend some time getting things set up.
Moving is never easy. It means upheaval, disorder, and chaos. It means change and as a friend of mine says, "the only one who appreciates change is a baby with a dirty diaper". Even a move just down the hallway causes us discomfort.
I have moved many times during my life. The line in our household was that as soon as we got the house landscaped, it was time to move. During university days, like many students, I was in one place one year and another place the next year. And doing Intentional Interim Ministry that I have done, I have sometimes done ministry in one place, only to move 80 kilometres the next year to begin with another church. Although others may pack much better, and others may be a bit more organised, I guess you could say I am a bit of an expert on moving.
That is until this time. This is the first time I have ever moved country. Suddenly I find myself dealing with somewhat familiar systems but in different contexts. Red tape that I expected in some things were not there. Some things were very easy to do- getting power, getting electricity into my new home for instance. Other things were much more difficult than I anticipated though. It was not as easy to get a mobile phone because I didn't yet have the 100 points of identification. Some things are just as they are in Canada. Other things were just a wee bit different or a whole lot different.
In a way though, I have come to understand how blessed am I. Unlike many immigrants, my first language is the same as the business language of Australia. I might sound funny when I talk, but at least I am understood and I can understand. Second, unlike many refugees and many migrants, I have a support structure in place. Members of my congregation have opened their home to me while I set up house. My church congregation has been very supportive, giving me some time to set up while assuming my new duties. Presbytery and Synod have been welcoming. And friends that I have here in Australia all have said if you need anything just give us a call. Moving is hard. No doubt about. Moving far away is even harder. But being the recipient of such wonderful hospitality, I know that everything is good, and I am blessed.