When my husband Rai shared with me that God had placed the Caribbean on his heart, I was excited for him. It had been a year since we had stopped much of the volunteering that we did at our church in order to focus on helping our aging mothers and their major life changes. I knew that God had given us this time of refocus to prepare us for the next chapter and we had been praying fervently to find out what was next.
It was exciting! Rai was working hard at getting all the necessary pieces together to set up the CMS in Canada. There were phone calls, meetings, paperwork and plans. I loved the excitement and I was inspired by his spiritually focused fervor. He was organizing people, places, documents and it was exhilarating.
Then one day Rai said those words that stopped me in my tracks. ‘You know’, he said, ‘We will probably need to travel to the Caribbean to visit and meet with different churches.’
You want me to what?
I am sure at this moment, many of you may think – ‘so what is the problem?’ And logically I concur with your assessment. But let me share a little about myself – I am not known as an easy traveler. Given my druthers I love to travel if I could carry my bed, pillow, and closet with me. Better still if I can find a way to come home every night – well that would be wonderful!
No matter how often I do travel I never know what to bring. So packing is stressful. Is this going to be warm enough, cool enough, dressy enough, and casual enough? What happens if there is a storm, or a dry spell, or an event I didn’t plan for? On top of that I have trouble sleeping and am very restless. If we drive, well my travel pillows come with me, but no way will I pay extra airline fees to carry my pillows in an extra suitcase! Then there are the bugs – those crazy mosquitos, flies and gnats that seem to find me no matter where I am! If I could avoid any bugs, – well that would make me happy. As much as I love seeing people; meeting with different churches and seeing different places, the whole process of getting there I find totally exhausting.
My children love to travel and easily adapt to new locations. Sometimes I look at them and think “I must be adopted” because I don’t ease into changes as well as they do.
But I do know that God does have a plan. The more I travel, the more adept I become. I think God uses every opportunity to help me grow and stretch. So I ignore the anxiety; I pack the best I can (albeit I always bring too much). I have learned just to accept the fact that I might not sleep as well as when I am at home, so a sleep mask and melatonin are part of my necessities. As for the bugs – I really need to carry bug spray. Which I usually forget to pack!
Come to think of it – maybe travelling in a RV is the answer. I can have the comfort of home on 4 wheels. Only problem is, how do I get it onto any of the Caribbean Islands? Guess I’ll just have to stick to flying and leave my pillows at home.
Have an excellent day – Clara