“So, what brought you up north?”

Here’s another question I’m asked on a semi-regular basis – mostly when I’m meeting people for the first time.  It’s a question I like to ask people as well, because it’s usually a good conversation starter.  Especially when you live in a place like Watson Lake.  It’s like, “Sorry, but… why, exactly, do you live here?”  I’m gonna be honest – at first glance, there’s not a lot to write home about.  It’s five hours from a decent hospital, adorable cafés, reasonably priced food, a movie theatre… and it’s COLD, really cold for six months of the year.  And, I’m sorry, dear Watson Lake, if this sounds awful, but when I first arrived here a year and a half ago on the back of a motorcycle, I thought, “This may be the ugliest town I’ve ever seen.”  (So it’s a good thing I live in Lower Post, which is basically like living in the middle of the woods, and that suits me just fine.)

A lot of people move here for work or family.  Or maybe they just want something totally different.  But what I’m trying to understand is why people actually enjoy living in Watson Lake – and I believe that a lot of people do.  For me, it’s the wonderful, hospitable, generous people in this town that embrace outsiders(probably because a lot of us are, in fact, “from the outside”).  I love it because you don’t find a lot of people who try to “keep up with the Joneses.”  People aren’t living the American/Canadian dream up here – they are living the Northern Life, which focuses largely on survival and living off the land.  It doesn’t matter if you have a gorgeous home with perfect gardens… no one cares.  I also love it because it’s not a fashion show; it’s not about looking good, it’s about staying warm.  No one cares if you wear make-up or have uggs.  Yes, people wear make-up and uggs, but if you don’t, you’re still okay.

Anyways, I have gone completely off topic.  In fact, I haven’t even come to the topic yet.  So let’s get to it.

When I was in the hospital last week, I got to meet a lot of new people – nurses, doctors, people who came and wheeled me around to my various tests.  And when they found out I lived in Lower Post, they wanted to know why, understandably.  Maybe some of you don’t know why I came to Lower Post, so let me give you a the brief version: I moved north because I felt called.  By God.  I moved to Lower Post because that is where God lead me.  Yes, I wanted something different, and yes, I wanted to learn more about Canada’s native people… but God is the reason I am here.  I am ashamed to report that though I was asked the “what brought you up north” question at least two or three times, my answer was not the one stated above.  In fact, I completely left God out, as if He wasn’t even a part of it.  And this has happened before, too.  I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.  I didn’t want anyone to think I was a weird “religious girl.”  And in that regard, I was successful.  But I totally blew off Jesus.

This morning in my devotional I was instructed to read 2 Timothy 1:6-12.  And when I read vs. 8: So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner.  But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, I was reminded once again that this is something I need to work on.  Because being a Christian doesn’t mean you live to make sure other people are comfortable by what you say or do… you may very well just have to suffer!  And honestly, how much suffering would have come for me if I actually had told the truth?  None.  None at all.  There are people in closed countries who are willing to die for Jesus.  I may not be at that point yet.  But that’s not what God is asking of me right now.  I believe that God wants me to glorify His name by telling the truth about why I moved to this ugly, cold, isolated place and how much He has blessed me as a result.

 

 

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power. 2 Timothy 1:7

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