for those who don't want to just wait it out

like the song says this is a blog for someone who wants to say something (anything) and who's happy to wait and see what time will bring...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What happens when you learn a part of your own story?

I’m one of those confused people. I call myself an only child (which is pretty much how I was raised) and yet I also talk about a much loved sister and brother, their spouses and nieces and nephew (I don’t do ‘halves’). There have been times when I’ve felt a little out of step – not only with my society but also with my family. I write this full well knowing that one day they may see of read this and so I write hoping not to cause offence but to say things as I see them, hopefully as accurately as possible.

My family wouldn’t exactly class themselves as a religious family. In the past we have gone to Easter and Christmas services together, but I’m the only one who would go to church regularly and would want to talk about, or raise, matters of ‘faith’ and ‘religion’. And so, I think it would be fair to say that there have been times when not only have I felt a little out of step with my family ‘norm’ but also been encouraged to not raise certain issues, to not take faith “so seriously” and to think about careers choices that don’t involve ministry. I always know that I'm loved, accepted and valued but never quite understood in terms of how and why I think so much about Jesus and have Him influence my life so much.

Until today.

As you’ll know, I’m in Scotland – thinking about the future and how it’s shaped by people of the past. Today we took a drive through the highlands (I was just keen to see Hamish) to get to what is probably one of the oldest churches in Scotland that had it's foundation in Druid worship (oh yeah, and it's also famous because of some other character, Rob Roy, being buried there).

You can read about the history of Balquhidder here, but the most important thing that came out of my time there today (other than just being at a cool site!) was that this place is literally the birth place of my family - both in name and generational span. Not many families throughout history can trace their lineage to an exact place and year, but I learnt that I can.

More than that though, I was able to learn about the ways in which the family was born - and what was their basis of daily life. It was their faith. It was Who the stood for (and who they stood in opposition too) that gave them the name.

Standing in the cemetery, looking at the gravestones and thinking of ancestors who had stood for something in the name of Jesus I felt…. Relief. Joy. Hope. A longing to get to heaven and meet my family not only in the Spirit but also in blood. I felt a kinship to this land that I have felt before, but never breathed. Does that make any sense or does it just sound nutty? Standing in the glen, the foothills of mountains, running water and stories from generations gone by, I felt like I could breath the air of McLarens before me. This was their land. They stood for something. They stood for Jesus. I wont know anything really about them while on earth, but I will be able to meet them in heaven and hear their stories... and that will be awesome.

I was able to spend some time with some closer McLaren relations too. My Pop's brother and sister and their families. It was special to be with them at the one year anniversary of the death of a man that we all loved greatly and made it easier being away from home. One of the things I remember about my Pop is his hugs. No one, and I mean no one, could hug me the way he did. There was just something unique about it - until his younger brother John managed to do it in the same way... Must've been something in the way their parents raised them!

I've said goodbye to the rest of the group that I spent the week in 'conversations' with. It was a great week and great friendships have begun, been renewed, re-strengthen and re-understood because of these last few days. More and more I'm feeling the absence and difficulty that comes with different time zones - but I'm thankful for each glimmer of times I get to spend with special friends. Hopefully you've been able to check out some of the stuff on you-tube - more snippets of the group will be coming up when I get the chance to edit stuff and hopefully it will make you smile as you get a glimpse into what was a great week.

So I'll be saying goodbye to Scotland in a couple of days time. It's been fun - but I'm definitely looking forward to heading down to London and the next part of this coming 'journey'. It's going to be interesting to see what He has in store.

x j


  • At 7:45 pm, Blogger Katherine said…

    hey! i don't think you know me but i'm married to one of you old soccer buddies form croydon and friends of Bec S. enjoying your blog

  • At 11:22 am, Anonymous CAB said…

    I loved this post, Jodi - did you have the 'communication techniques' in mind? Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Balquhidder and the MacLarens. Wish I was still there with you and your squeaky clean sneakers. x

  • At 3:41 am, Blogger jodi said…

    Hi Katherine - yes I do know you and remember KS well! How are you guys? Please say hi to him for me - I have a friend on holidays in Cambodia at the moment and was just thinking of you all the other day.

    Thanks for letting me know that you're reading :)

    Ah CAB, yes I did have some of those thoughts in mind - glad it's slowly coming through! Bisous

  • At 11:08 pm, Anonymous CAB said…

    New post! New post! Wherefore art thou not here, new post?

  • At 9:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Definitely loved and valued, but I am yet to know what is normal about clann McLaren!!! Glad you found that special connection on such a special day.


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