Oh The Places You’ll Go

Vancouver:Day 1

Mission: Build relationship with mother.

Strategy: … what?

After many plane rides and car rides, we made it to Vancouver, but because of the time change it was only 12 and check in wasn’t until 3. So we headed down to the harbor in Stevenson, BC, we found a place to park and ate fish and chips at Dave’s Fish n’ Chips. After we started walking around a bit, came to a cannery that was free today so we toured that, but we had parted ways once inside. I was alone and able to walk around, take pictures, and think, but I was sinking back into independence so I sought out my mom and found her in the gift shop. We left and took a picture together out side and carried on. I began to see that we weren’t really talking. Silence is always fine, but with a messed up relationship like ours, surely there was plenty to talk about. I had come to find out that I didn’t have anything to talk about. I knew nothing about my mother to have a conversation like normal people do. It felt strange to treat my mom like a stranger I was getting to know. All awhile I had a bazillion things rolling in the back of my mind. Plus I had a fever and a terrible sore throat. I became bogged down more and more by my realization that I just don’t know what it takes to build a relationship with someone. I remember watching a married couple the other day, listening to them thank each other over and over again for multiple things and even repeating them. I remember thinking how strange it was that they talked like that, but noticing that they were pursuing a godly relationship. I’m not married to my mom, but isn’t that what I’m trying to do? I went to sleep that night praying that God would better equip me for relationship building and to help me work out of my independence. I was curious to know what whale watching would bring.

Vancouver: Day 2

My fever broke during the middle of the night and I awoke to an anxious mother feeling my forehead and wiping the sweat away. My initial reaction to people touching me when I’m waking is to push whatever object is near me away, so I fussed under my blanket and didn’t communicate love. I tried to make that better by being sure to thank my mom kindly for giving me medicine and a glass of water, after which her face softened and brightened. I was feeling a little better, so this was good news. We headed out whale watching and I noticed my ability to submit was easy, as before it was really challenging. Sitting beside her still saying nothing, the holy spirit urged me to just thank her. I tasseled it around in my head for a few seconds and finally, with humility, thanked her for paying for the trip. This seems like an obvious thing to do, thank people for doing great things for you, but I am proud and selfish, so this is challenging. Finally I thanked her, and surprisingly she responded my opening up about how she wanted to make up for all the bad memories. Sure, you can’t just cover them up, but this was her feeling like she needed memories to cover up my bad ones. I told her I forgive her and we continued to talk about some past hurt and she was able to explain a little why she said some of the things she did, and I was able to explain why those things hurt. We didn’t miraculously heal everything, but it also gave me a chance to apologize for the way I behaved, however my mother always counteracts with what I blessing I was to her life. “You’re my good luck charm, because God is always smiling on you” After our conversation I was shocked on how God worked that out… I want healing in our relationship, well, I’m going to have to change my heart. Throughout the rest of the trip I found it easier to thank her for things and found it easier to spark conversation about her life and experiences, and in turn she opened up more about her troubles.

Vancouver: Day 3

Today was our big day of adventure as we headed to a suspension bridge, a lift to the top of the mountain, and a 110 km drive to Whistler Mt. I was still battling a sore throat, though my fever had resided, but my mom was still, very much so, taking care of me. Since we had made good progress yesterday, I wanted to try just sharing things about myself, so I started talking about school which somehow led to talking about how I need to do better in school, which led to her thinking I need to spend more time studying and less time doing church things. That always hits hard because, though we both believe in God, we’re definitely on different mind sets. This did give me the opportunity to share with her that working, money, careers are second to my relationship with the Lord which was is a foreign concept for her. I know in my heart, that I desperately desire her to be able to call me up and share things about God working in her life, like my Dad’s mom does, so having to justify why I’m living my life for God is something I wish I didn’t have to do. I was starting to be angry at God because I felt like it shouldn’t be my responsibility to lead my mom to Christ, that wasn’t a child’s job. God was quick to rebuke, as it’s his doing that leads people, but merely the way he works in my life is how he uses  me. If I were to put a plug into the way God uses me, then he doesn’t flow through me… his love doesn’t flow through me. If I’m living my life for Christ, then when people ask me what I’m living for, I should say that I’m living for Christ. The reason why I’m not coming home for the summer isn’t because I really just want to advance my career, but I want to advance my relationship with God. Things like that sound strange to people who aren’t living for Christ, but I just pray, I know that God uses it. I just want God to keep using my life as a light to who he is for my mom.

Vancouver: Day 4

Today we drove to the Pacific Ocean, which meant lots of car time. In the past driving in the car this long meant lots of arguing and painful stuff, but I was excited because God has been changing our relationship from hate to love, so I wasn’t worried. I was getting better at asking questions and getting to know my mom, a lot about her traveling with my grandpa when she was younger. We even talked a bit about my sister and how my sister and my life are similar to my mom and my aunt’s. In that, my sister and my mom were the ones who made a lot of mistakes, and my aunt and myself were most successful. It helped me realize how much more love I can give my sister. I also had a chance to ask my mom about her goals in life, which was to keep working, but I think it spawned the thought of “what are you living for” so I’m praying that God uses that to get her thinking about the purpose of life and what she’s really doing with hers. Towards the end of the day there was a bit of the bump in the road when we were going to make a last minute decision to not do something that I had really been looking forward to. I’m usually an easy going, down to earth person who takes changes like this really well, but it hit me hard because it was moments like these that I reflected a lot of my pain on in my childhood. I get really excited for something, then my mom changes her mind last minute, and I am left disappointed and feel like she has a complete disregard for my feelings all together. This time I decided to communicate that I didn’t want to make her do something she didn’t want to, but I had been really looking forward to it. She shared her concerns and we made a decision. I later thanked her more and it seemed to work out fine, the difference being in all the other times I hadn’t expressed my concerns or my feelings and just accepted being hurt. I realize now that most of my pain in my childhood was just as much as my fault because I never said anything about it. People don’t know what you’re thinking unless you tell them. Reason 192 why communication is important in a relationship.

Vancouver: Day 5

Well today we are heading back to the US, but we did some shopping before going to the airport, making a stop at Harley Davidson and small shops back in Stevenson. My chill and laid back personality who doesn’t really live on a timeline makes it inconvenient when you are supposed to be checked into your flight more and an hour early, so we were rushed and barely got our luggage on the flight. My mom has an anxiety disorder so making it in the nick of time isn’t something she appreciates, so it made the atmosphere very tense. At first I wanted to justify myself and tell her not to blame me, but in a sense it was my fault and I wasn’t very responsible. It wasn’t until we were on the flight that I apologized but once I did the atmosphere returned to normal.  It was just blowing my mind that this whole trip required so much humility on my part, I wasn’t expecting it at all. Proverbs 15:33 says The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. I see more and more how much  humility I lack, but how much more I can grow. God showed me that being thankful and loving is honoring to my parents. I have so much to be thankful for, yes? Keeping that inside of me is just the same as keeping who God is inside of me. “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:16-18.

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