My Irish Dream

Sometimes I drive on the wrong side of the road.

It happened recently. In a quiet neighborhood, I turned onto an empty street, and for a few moments I was toodling along in the left-hand lane, which every American knows is the wrong side.

As soon as I realized it, I pulled over. I know I should have scolded myself, but instead it made me happy.

Very happy.

Because it reminded me: I lived in Ireland.

This week last year Jake and I were packing up our cozy apartment in Ballygar, Co. Galway, saying goodbyes to special neighbors and fulfilling jobs and our friends and community of 18 months. I felt sad, yes, I did—I  loved our life there—but I also felt super grateful. Because living in Ireland was my dream come true.

You see, my dear dad was born in Belfast. When he was 6 years old (it was 1931), his mother Sarah left Ireland with the three youngest of her 13 children, and immigrated to Canada. It was my love for my dad and his stories that sparked my dream to know more about his homeland.

I got an Irish passport and green has always been my favorite color, an important sign, right? So of course, I wanted to someday live on the Emerald Isle.

When Jake and I first married in 1974, I talked him into applying to work at a children’s home in Ireland, thinking I could make my dream come true. But nope. We were rejected.

Twenty-five years later, my extended family met in Dublin, and we toured for ten days, celebrating my dad’s 75th birthday. It was great, but being a tourist was not the dream.

Fifteen years after that trip, in 2014, Jake and I did a cycling tour through the county of Donegal on the Atlantic coast. While in Ireland we checked out the organization Operation Mobilization (OM) to see if we could work with them. We were accepted and so, it happened!  We moved to Ireland in August, 2015.

On our first day there — on our first walk — there was a welcoming rainbow in the sky.

I felt at home.

You know that verse in the Bible that says ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.’?  (Psalm 37)

 It seems to me that could be taken two different ways. 1. If I delight in the Lord, he will control my heart, and keep it desiring/dreaming for good and proper things.

Or it could mean, 2. If I delight in him, he will grant me my heart’s longings/dreams.

I’m not saying I’m expert at desiring God, but I do love him, and I see how he has fulfilled that verse for me, in both ways. Desiring to live in Ireland was a good dream that I believe he put in my heart long ago. AND it was a dream that only he could fulfill.

So that’s why I feel happy—so  grateful!—when I drive on the wrong side of the road.



6 thoughts on “My Irish Dream

  1. Lovely memories and it is so interesting to learn the places and the THINGS YOU DO…biking in Donegal! That is so exciting. Have you watched WILD IRELAND?


  2. Wonderful blog my dear friend!
    So glad you got to have those months in Ireland. AndI know God will honor the seeds you sowed!


  3. Sarah, so fun to discover all this about you and your dad and your precious heritage! Wow! Felt almost the same, still do often, as I left Malaysia. Driving on the left always felt traumatic to me. Always felt I may hurt someone in the roundabouts or making right turns! Anyway, come see us back in Tega Cay! Let’s catch up!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love how the Lord plants a seed of longing in our hearts, let’s it lie fallow for a time and then, in His time, makes it germinate and grow. Our Father has an amazing sense of timing (perfect–even as our Heavenly Father is perfect) and is always leading us (yes even sometimes into cul-de-sacs and seemingly wrong way roads….. working in and through us for His glory

    Liked by 1 person

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