Frontiers and Poetry
*Note: This post was taken right from my journal from the time we were preparing to move to Oxford, England. We've now lived in Oxford for over a year.
“You gave them kingdoms and nations, allotting to them even the remotest frontiers...and you brought them into the land...” ~Nehemiah 9:22
“Is this really going to happen?”
That was my thought as the reality sank in, and as the realtor told us about our new offer on the house. Yesterday, it was just talk of the details. Today, however, I stand confronted with the very real question: “Am I really going to move three little girls away from all they know, to a land that I don’t even know?
Lyric looked at me when the realtor left, and cried, “I don’t want to leave our home.”
Our home. This is our home. At least it was for the past five years. But what is home? Do I really feel at home in Atlanta? If I’m honest, no. It never felt like "home". It always felt like a gateway to the next frontier.
Frontiers. This is what I consider home.
When I married my husband, I always knew we’d live a life of irregularity; a life driven by faith, mounting the next frontier, the next challenge, the next land. In fact, I distinctly remember telling my mom when I married Tim, “I don’t believe we will ever live in one place long". Five years in Lititz, five in Atlanta, and now we're looking at two-three years in London.
So, I find it beyond fitting that this morning when I opened my study in Nehemiah, the words in verse 22 nestled neatly in my spirit, “You gave them kingdoms and nations, allotting to them even the remotest frontiers ... and you brought them into the land.”
Tim likes to remind me, “We’re not moving to the edge of the world. It’s Oxford for crying out loud.” Yes, but let’s be quite clear. We are picking up our three pixies (as we like to call them), all under the age of five, and traveling across the Atlantic Ocean to a frontier I know nothing about.
What is the city like? Will it be a safe place to raise our family? What about the healthcare system? If we have to rush one of the girls to the ER will they receive immediate and adequate treatment? These are the first things that come to my mind; not how invigorating it will be to take the girls to the British Museums, visit Parliament, run through Hyde Park, and walk under the Bridge of Sighs.
So yes, it’s not the edge of world, but this mama’s heart definitely considers London a frontier. Yet, I cannot escape verse 23, “...and You brought them into the land.”
With all my doubts, fears, anxious thoughts and notions, it was You and You alone who brought the Israelites into their promised land, and I believe Yahweh, the same covenant-keeping God of the Hebrews, will also bring this American family of five into the land of England.
One of the things I loved most about Tim when I married him was the fact that he lived life by faith. The romantic notion of living life as a free-spirit was easy to fall for, but that was before three little pixies entered the picture. This poetic, free-spirited, mountain man I married, is taking me on a journey of uncharted frontiers. Things that don’t fit tightly into my tidy, simple, organized little box. It stirs my spirit, challenging me to take flight.
For Christmas, I received an Anthro yearly planner. I was drawn to the vintage birds and quip on the front to “write every day”. Today, as I read in my Bible about frontiers, the bird quote I stumbled upon inside was: “Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers.”
So maybe I am after all, living out poetry, seeing the beautiful stanzas of my life unfold amidst this new frontier. Will London become my home, the land the Lord Himself has brought our family into? This bird is about to take flight.