It was lovely to travel across the US this summer, from ocean to ocean, through a great variety of green places and urban places, glacier laden mountains and badlands. A few of my friends, who have sent out three years (0r s0) of roots into their local communities, were jealous that we could just fit everything into my parents' minivan and take off across the country. But it really was not so bohemian as all that. It was just God. Because it really would have been much too difficult for me or Clint to try on our own. In some ways I felt like a mute and passive observer of my own fate this summer. It all went by way to fast for me to really "get" it. Here are written a few evidences that it was all and only Him.
*The week before I left New York, I made contact with a friend in publishing, wanting to see her before we left the City. We saw her, and she said, in no uncertain terms, "Laura, you need to start writing seriously. And I'll do what I can to help you." Now, I've always felt a bit embarassed about writing. Like, I've always thought it wasn't a legitmate career. This was God telling me. "Yes, it is. Stop trying to run from the work I'm asking you to do."
*The day we left, a dear friend of ours from Christ Church came out to help us carry everything we own down the two flights of stairs to the minivan. In a stunning act of love, he washed the floors of the apartment for us, and was able to take away (and use!) all the last little things that we would have just thrown out. It helped me to wrap up things and to say goodbye to the apartment in an unharried way.
*Dear, dear friends provided us with hospitality and good conversation along the route and made our journey much more comfortable than it would have been without them. How I wish we could have stopped longer...
*We got a flat tire, but safely, and at probably the most convenient place along the route. We didn't have to inconvenience a friend (or miss out on their good conversation) by arriving late because of delay because it was the one night along the trip we had booked a hotel room. I called my parents, who were immediately able to Google for help, and within an hour a tow truck arrived and within three hours we were back on the road.
*I got to see the stars in Bozeman, Montana. Yeah, in NYC we had three stars and two of them blinked and moved around...
*We were able to pay our tuition bill, despite the unfortunate nature of the Bank of America. The only way we could access the money was to take it out $1000 at a time (in $20s, of course) from an affiliated ATM here in Vancouver. One night Clint went to make the withdrawl at about 11pm, much to my chagrin. This is not NYC, but it is a major metropolitan area full of bushes that people can jump out of. So I prayed, and God even provided a police escort, who "happened to" pull a car over right in front of the bank and "happened to" drive right in front of Clint all the way back to campus. It sounds very unmodern of me to say it, but it was a little affirmation that God is watching out for us.
*The first day of orientation here at Regent, the president spoke and affirmed that the mission of Regent actually is to provide theological education for lay people. You see, until I heard him say it, it seemed too good to be true. But this place actually believes that theological education has a purpose beyond simply grooming you for a pastor/missionary career and ticking off activities to add to a ministry CV. But I met a lot of people that morning who had showed up here on the same strong, if vague, sense of calling I felt.
It is all a bit like God was saying "I told you I called you here, when are you going to believe?"