Of course, God cannot fulfill all my dreams. Sometimes my dreams clash.
So. I was loving life in Ireland.
I relished working at the OM office, being a part of that community of different ages and nationalities, sharing hunger for God and passion to talk about faith and Jesus.
It was great to live in the middle of the town of Ballygar, in our back alley apartment behind Moran’s Pub and next to Moran’s funeral home—keeping cozy-warm with my lovely man Jake by our turf-burning stove. I liked being the only Americans in our town, and able to walk to the grocery store, to buy fresh fish every Wednesday at the butcher’s, to chat in the Coffee Drop and at art classes, and to volunteer with the Tidy Town folks on Saturdays. And right on the edge of town was a beautiful Wood, with miles of walking trails and trees and wildflowers.
I loved the ever-friendly, ever-ready-to-make-you-laugh people, the interesting history and conversations, the slower pace, our weekend adventure explorations, the peace and beauty of the landscape, and charming views everywhere we went. I especially loved all the shades of greens and grays. A new dream was forming in my heart: about owning our own cottage and living there for years.
However. A deeper dream butted in.
Daughter 4 called with good news. It went something like this:
D4: Isn’t it wonderful grandbaby #5 is coming?
D4: Isn’t it something you’ve always wanted, to live near a grandchild?
Me: Well . . . yes.
D4: So you will come home and help with childcare, right?
Wait. Hadn’t God given me an Irish passport to live here? Yes. Wasn’t I happier than I’d ever been before? Yes. Wouldn’t I rather keep working here and ignore that word ‘retirement’? Yes!
My head knew it would be super to be with the baby, but my heart wasn’t in it. I fretted and schemed and looked and hoped for a way to both keep my active Irish life AND help our daughter.
One of those miserable mornings, I opened my Bible at my bookmark, as is my custom, and read the story of a king facing a battle. Through a prophet, the Lord sent a message to him . . . and to me.
The Lord said: “Do not fight . . . Go home. . . this is My doing.” (1 Kings 12;24)
Could You be a little clearer, Lord?
So I had no choice. I submitted to God’s will and let go of Ireland.
Because of better airline prices, we flew out of Dublin on March 17, Ireland’s National Holiday, St. Patrick’s Day.
I so wanted to be at that parade.
Self-pity was a friend of mine for quite a while. I had to grieve the losses.
But God—as always—was gracious to me.
The grandbaby turns one next week. Everyone knows she is bright and beautiful and I gotta tell you: being her personal gramma wins over staying in Ireland.
I don’t deserve this, but I am living another dream-come-true.