Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The surprising story of my rejection at the Canada border (part 5)

The final saga of the events that unfolded last year around this time

Part 5: A door definitively closed, and restoration of what I had lost

It was so unexpected to have this intended plan completely not work out, but it felt to me like life from the dead. In a manner as definitive and unarguable as the Canadian Border Authorities, God closed the door.

I felt like Abraham, sacrificing his son on the altar. They were at the top of Mount Moriah. Isaac was on the altar. The knife was raised. And suddenly, God called to Abraham and said “Stop.” He let him get all the way to that point before he detained the final move. He didn’t let Abraham see that he was going to be stopped until the last minute. And God said, “Now I know that you will not withhold even your only son from me.” In Hebrews, it said that Abraham was “accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which also he received him in a figure.” 

In just the same way, I felt like I had been detained at the last minute. “Stop,” God declared. “Now I know that you are willing. You have not withheld your dreams, your future, your house from me. You have declared yourself to be totally available to me, and I have accepted it. Now go back to Colorado and do the work I have for you to do.”

An overwhelming sense of relief flooded over me. Life from the dead was better than life that had never died. I was not only getting my life back, I was now freed from all the thorns of merimnao that had been choking me. 

I was not misguided after all in feeling like it was the Lord who had led me to put down roots and settle in Colorado. I had given up my dreams, and they had died, and I had mourned, but what I was getting back was like a fresh new slate, a life that God could guide, a walk of newfound dependence on the Lord. It would be daily, it would be dependent, it would not count on tomorrow, but it was rooted so much more firmly in the One who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

I made the comment to my mom on the phone, “I thought I couldn’t see beyond the next 3 months, but I found out I actually couldn’t see beyond the end of the day.” The Lord re-fixed my focus on Him, and not on the length of time that I could discern the future.

I got back to Colorado on Thursday evening, April 25, and wonder of wonders, in a series of events that I didn't even ask for, I got my books back, I got my kitchen stuff back, and I got my stuff back out of the yard sale pile where I had put it. It had been sacrificed, and I didn't expect to see it again, and here it was, still mine, but the tentacles of possessiveness and materialism and merimnao (the cares of this life) had been severed. Now it was just stuff. I was beyond grateful to get it back, but I was also free from the clutches that these things had over me.

On Monday (April 28), I got a call from the father of the family in Canada, saying he had talked to a member of Parliament from his district, and she had expressed surprise that I had gotten turned away at the border. “That shouldn’t have happened to her,” she said, and committed to look into it.

She later called them back after looking into my case, and they updated me on Tuesday (April 29). He said that the Parliament member had spoken to the immigration authorities at the border where I had tried to cross and had found out that I have been labeled forever as a “nanny attempter” and that there was no way to override that decision. Therefore, whenever I ever try to enter Canada for any reason in the future, I will be detained and questioned and suspected. There was nothing more that the Parliament member could do.

On Wednesday (April 30), I received a final email that said, “I also thought of more questions for our Member of Parliament, regarding...whether there was any appeal system in place for you to get your "criminal record of stealing nanny jobs from Canadians" pardoned. What my MP office said is that as far as trying to get you off the "most wanted list" there is no appeal system in place to plead your innocence. So I asked the lady if you wanted to fly from Denver, CO to Calgary, AB for a vacation you wouldn't be allowed in and she said that is right, you would not be allowed in. The lady in the office did have some suggestions for you if you wanted to still get into Canada in the near future.(wouldn't blame you if you didn't) but none the less she suggested contacting Canadian Immigration, to apply for a visitor visa, this would cost you $200.00 and some time spent dealing with gov't officials. She also suggested you could go to the Canadian Consulate in Denver (1625 Broadway street) and work through them. The lady at the office was very helpful and knowledgeable about immigration and was willing to talk to you if you had any questions about the situation you find yourself in. This is for your info only and if you wanted to know more about your situation. Like I said before, I wouldn't blame you if you wouldn't want to talk to another Canadian official ever again.”

I wrote back and replied, “I really appreciate your words of thanks and affirmation in this whole process. I also thank you for taking the time to do this research and find out these things for me. Right now I do not have any foreseeable need to visit Canada, but it is good to know the procedures and contact information should I need to go the route of getting a visa. And I am not one to hold a grudge, so it hadn't even crossed my mind to be like "I don't want to talk to another Canadian official ever again." Do you know what I feel like? I feel like I am reading a book, and the author throws in a little twist to the story in one of the characters lives that seems insignificant at the time but that will become significant later on. Right now, I'm like, "Oh my, I'm a nanny attempter. Big deal." But I have this feeling that later on down the road, there might be some reason that I urgently need to go back to Canada, and I won't be able to because of this little incident. However, this is not a cause for foreboding; this is a cause for excitedly anticipating the way the Author will work things out.”

So that closed the door definitively on all my potential for appeal, leaving me free to pursue the call of God on my life in the present moment, in the present place, and trust Him for the coming steps. I am rooted in Him, hidden in Him, and delighted to have Him back in the driver’s seat. 

To God be all the glory.

The End.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. Even though I knew this story it was amazing to read it and realize just what a tough decision that was. As Dad just said (& the Bible says!:), we walk by faith not by sight. Dad also quoted Charles Stanley who says, "Obey God and leave the consequences to Him." It will be interesting to see how your "label" affects the future. Hopefully it won't. Anyway, thanks for setting a wonderful example of obedience and sacrifice. Love you!


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