A few months ago I took a massive leap. With my contract ending at work, a vague dream of working overseas, a love of mountains and autumnal colours, I packed up and moved to Canada. There was a little bit more to it, like diversifying my professional experience, countering conscious and unconscious cultural bias (as much as you can in Australia’s winter cousin) and potentially giving any future children dual citizenship guaranteeing a lifetime of winter ski vacations.

In a world where we seek security and security in work, it was a balance of fear and freedom.
In a life which I surround myself with people who challenge and encourage, it was diving headfirst into a season of loneliness.
In a faith based on trust in God’s providence, it was and remains terrifying.

And it was finally June and then July. I had an amazing time travelling around Canada. Life is easy when lived in hotels, hiking trails and home cooked meals cease to exist.

And then August arrived. The job hunt became real. I applied for 20 jobs in about 2 weeks. I got half a dozen screening calls from various HR departments. I had a couple of interviews. I was offered a job I didn’t really want, but it gave me confidence to hold out hope for one I really wanted.

September came. I moved into my new place. I had made a few friends. I thought I had found a new church. But days became weeks, and a little bit of unease became sheer terror and anxiety.

I haven’t really experienced anxiety before but being you’re on the other side of world with a job you don’t want but they need an answer for, and a job you do want but getting a code of silence from. I found out what anxiety was. I also ate a lot of triple chocolate cookies (thankfully I’d also joined a gym and bought a bike by then).

I’m thankful for my family and many friends who reached out during August and September and FaceTimed through my joy at progressing in various recruitment processes and the agony of waiting. “How are you?” could vary dramatically based on emails, phone calls and whether it was sunny and I’d been outdoors or rainy and stuck inside.

I had my family here, my family at home, my new church family, my church family, new friends and old friends, and at one stage the Garden Island Naval Base praying for me. I was not alone and I was comforted by all of them.

In the months that led up to leaving, I held onto it all with an open hand. If it wasn’t meant to be, I’d be disappointed but accepting. But time and time again, God provided. Visas came quickly, temporary housing, work connections given.

And now more than 100 days on, I can proclaim God’s kindness and generosity once again. I still tread unknowingly around ‘God’s favour’ because it is far from what this inherently selfish girl wants to believe it is. The Spirit of God was with me when I leapt in the form of a business flight and a house deposit of savings to the land of the maple leaf. And it remains with me now. Praise God.

And if you’ve made it here, and was pretty much just wanting an update when you clicked to read another monologue on my corner of the interwebs:

– The EXTENDED edition.

– The HIGHLIGHTS reel:
I have a place. It’s in Kitsilano. It’s lovely.
I have found a church. It’s St Pete’s Fireside. I 110% struggle with the liturgy but praying God changes my heart because I love everything else.
I am making friends, although many of them are Australians – a cultural enclave in the making.
I broke my fifth metatarsal (aka my little toe). It sucked and I have not rested so it’ll probably take a while to heal.
BUT…I landed a job at the company I dreamed of since deciding I was moving to Canada. I start next week and I’m equal parts stoked and terrified at being the new girl again.