On Sunday, we visited Scarborough Citadel Salvation Army Church. The chapel was absolutely amazing! Their officer was in transition, and they had farewelled the officer last week, and would be welcoming the new officer this coming Sunday. My first thought was "why is there a week before the new guy arrives?? that would never happen at home!" Then someone explained that he was coming from Western Canada to Toronto, and it dawned on me that their territory is the size of our entire country, so a week's travel time was understandable. Anyways, it was a beautiful, traditional Salvation Army service.
We used the break to soak up some "Canadieness" (sp). We ate at Tim Horton's for breakfast (like Dunkin Donuts but EXTREMELY popular here), then Swiss Chalet for lunch, and a Boston Pizza for dinner. If you're from Canada I'm sure you recognize all those names, if not....sorry. We also drove about an hour and half to check out Niagra Falls, because who knows when we might ever be this close again. It was beautiful! We took lots of pictures and I even bought a Tshirt.
Monday we spent time talking about the process of change and transition and its effects on a family. As the speaker began to describe transition as feeling like crossing a busy hiway and no one giving any direction, I began to nod. Then as she continued describing transition as a chaotic time, with lots of irritability, a feeling of loss of purpose, and as just an all around terrible time, I began to cry. I had to leave the conference room to go cry in the bathroom for a minute, and regain my composure. As I read the paper and listened to her, I realized she was vocalizing what my family is going through!...it's called TRANSITION!!!! Now this may not be a new revelation to some people, but this was somewhat ground breaking to me. Theologically and ideally I understand this process, but to have someone give me the words and validate what is happening is freeing! That morning I couldn't really talk about it, but now I feel almost relieved that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Monday was like a huge spiritual breakthrough for me in the sense that God told me "No, you haven't made a mistake. This is normal. This too shall pass. But I have something to teach you as you walk through it with Me." Like the teacher said, it doesn't make sense to walk halfway through the busy street and sit down in the middle of the road, but it's in the middle where we will learn the valuable lessons of trust and blessing waiting on the other side.
Then today, we visited a mosque and listened to the Iman/Imam (sp?) talk about Islam and their beliefs. The women sat seperate from the men, we had been instructed not to ask the first question and to cover our limbs in respect to their beliefs. It was absolutely fascinating! I learned so much about Islam in general, and so much about my own faith in the process as well. I'm still processing through what the man spoke about today, so perhaps I will have more to say later about it. But it was such a great experience to step outside of our "comfort zone" and just come to a place to at least try to understand the "other side" so to speak.
The conference has been great and I really feel like we are learning a lot about ourselves in this process...