Time to Be Still - and Eat Croissants!

Arriving in France nearly 8 months ago, we were all excited and enthusiastic to have so much time dedicated to learning french. 

Well, French, and which pastry we like the best:)

It's been an incredible place to get to explore while we learn. I mean seriously, it's the French Alps! And as we have unwound in this beautiful setting, I have found myself contemplating how we got here, and what we've come away from.

For years, our family lived under a constant pressure.

Originating by the pursuit of medicine, worsened by financial constraints, and enhanced by our desire to have a family amidst it all, we have learned to live in this pressure cooker. By God's grace, we even had seasons of thriving despite it all.

But the reality is that years of living in that sort of state of survival left a mark.

I've dubbed it "Residency Residue".

It's strange to realize that we have become so used to functioning within the parameters of just getting through, that we don't even know how to function in a more "normal" life.

(Granted, nothing about our current situation is completely normal. I mean, what is normal anyways?).

But in this beautiful and unusual and awkward year of transition, our family has actually has had this rare thing happen to us. We have had time.

Time to drink coffee together in the morning.

Time to ride our bikes to school...and sometimes even just to ride our bikes for fun (I know, right?).

Time to eat meals together - EVERY meal.

Time to explore.

Time to play a french word game or read bedtime stories together.

In fact, there has been so much time together that, as Jesh mentioned we have a new saying in our family of being A Together Family.

It's a stark contrast from so many years of feeling like we are just surviving, just trying to get through.

Get through all the paperwork and interviews to make it into med school. Then, get through first year of med school, and simultaneously the first year as new parents.

Get through a move up north to Yellowknife, a second child, then move back to BC while Jesh finished med school. Add in applications and national travel for interviews to get into residency, and packing for another move across the country.

Then it's get through residency. Start fresh, further away from family. Get through having one car while Jesh was starting at 5:30am (thankfully that changed), a new city, new church and finding our place in it all.

Get through adapting for this new season, trying to be intentional as a parent and wife while running the home. Get through that, and then keep going.

The second year, the 3 months he spent working out of town, the long nights of call. Then do it again the next. And the next.

And then we found ourselves at the start of the last year. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, and things were coming together for our life beyond this pursuit of general surgery. We just needed to get through one more year.

It was the most difficult and exciting and busiest year to get through yet. Every time we got through another item on our long list, another took it's place.

It was full of hard goodbyes and beautiful plans as we begun to see our future, and our dream of serving internationally, begin to take place.

By God' grace, and I could tell you story after story of how He provided the people and the provisions along the way, we got through. We made it here, and suddenly...we had time.

The irony is realizing that it kind of feels like it was easier to handle our rigid and pressurized life of "getting through" to this new life that is so new and unfamiliar.

I knew how to function better within the old constraints then in this newer season. I had a way of doing things that I felt worked, and now I have had to learn and change. To let Jesh share the load, and share the parenting, and have his own ideas of how things could go.

Maybe some day I will be able to articulate more about this "residency residue".

For now, time is allowing us to grow, to heal, to learn new rhythms and make new habits as a family. It's time to break old ways, old survival tactics and habits that had been necessary to get through.

Time to be still. To know. To remember what kept us going, and Who it's all for in the first place.

By Julie