Nine months after moving to Albury from Adelaide I have returned for a visit. And I am more than OK. Aside from dying of travel sickness on the way over that is!
Albury has become so much home for me that being back here doesn't have the pull on me that I'm sure it would have if I'd come even just 6 months ago. Holding off to visit was the best thing I believe I could have done. Holding off on visiting gave me the chance to establish myself as a person in my new home, to make friends, get work (2 jobs people!!), settle my house and love where I live. Holding off visiting my old home until I had a new home means visiting the old one is positive, exciting and enjoyable rather than a painful reminder of where I might wish I'd rather be.
Being here is wonderful. I am having the most precious time with friends and family I have loved and missed. I am eating out nearly everyday (sorry budget!) and enjoying meals that helped shaped my love of Adelaide (ETC's Roasted Field Mushrooms in Balsamic dressing changed my life!). I am seeing the results of things that had been changing when I left - mostly buildings. I am sharing revelations with friends who have known me for years. I am meeting babies that are only weeks and months old. I am still laughing at my Nana's outrageous stories! I am celebrating birthdays and weddings and pregnancies. I am grieving with those who are hurting over injuries, illness and injustices. I am jamming a lot of life into 2 weeks.
And yet there is within me my new home, my new friends and the life I am missing there by being here.
What an incredibly wonderful problem to have: so much love in my life that where ever I am I am missing someone or something important. Could a person be any more blessed than to have loved ones wherever they go?
The title of this blog comes from the song Majesty which says "Majesty, Your grace has found me just as I am - Empty Handed but alive in your hands". I am daily reminded that I am empty handed in the sense that I have nothing of value to give to Christ but myself. All my own efforts are nothing without his grace. And that's the way he has planned it. Imagine for a second if something I could do was enough to pay for what he has done for me, or even enough to say thank you in a way that paid true tribute to the redemption he has given me. Imagine that I knew what that something was - wouldn't I spend my life doing that thing? Wouldn't I fill my hands trying to give him that gift in return? How then would he continue to give me the life and gifts that he does? If my hands were full of the things I chose to place in them how could I possibly have them open to receive the far more perfect things he has for me?
My hands are abundantly full because my Saviour fills them daily with goodness beyond my imagination. I hope that I am always willing to empty my hands of my own plans and machinations so that he might fill them with his love and blessings. That he might fill them with his wisodm and his plans. That I might always have my hands full of Christ and empty of me because that is the kind of living we were made for - Life to the full in Christ. (John 10:10)