September 23, 2006

I think I am finally experiencing culture shock. Here are just a few things I have encountered recently:

  • Weed (at least once a day… today, twice)
  • Full nudity in the gym locker room (this never happened at Jackson Sport & Fitness)
  • A man wearing a feathery boa hat contraption outside a coffee shop window that was so distracting that I completely lost any concept of what was going on during a meeting with Kyle & Kristin (and they actually knew who I was seeing before I even uttered a word… apparently this is a regular occurrence)
  • Same-sex couples openly displaying affection
  • Signs for local Communist party gatherings (anyone interested?)
  • People performing psychic readings on sidewalk benches
  • Sore legs from walking everywhere (!!!!!!)

Want to know when it finally it me? As I found myself excited to be at Safeway (a Canadian version of Kroger). Secretly, I really wanted to just hang out there. It felt normal, even safe (no pun intended). I felt like I was home, strangely… and then I started wondering if this was some of the culture shock I was told to expect.
See, I spend most of my time on “The Drive.” This area in East Van is composed of markets (some organic, even!), all sorts of ethnic eateries, vintage/consignment shops, 2.5 coffee shops per block (thanks, Kyle), and the above encounters and experiences.
But, I appreciate my new surroundings and am thankful for the new, albeit different, experiences. I am beginning to see what life looks like outside of the Christian bubble I lived in for 4 years. I love Union, don’t hear me say otherwise. Its just good to be in the world… encountering the world, on a daily basis… living life just like the next person regardless of their belief system (and believe me, there are lots of belief systems here). I hope to be the type of Christian who, no matter who I encounter, can still smile at the person on the street corner or exchange pleasantries… to not judge people, but offer them warmth and friendship. To do otherwise would be dismaying, I think.

So… to sum it up, I miss home a little bit. I miss my friends, my car, my family, seeing my nephew grow, being able to go outside knowing the weather won’t change 5 times a day, familiar stores and restaurants, hearing my cell phone ring and actually being able to answer it, Starbucks (okay, this is technically not true because I really like the other coffee shops here, but its sort of uncool to go to Starbucks since its a franchise and I am fearful of being judged if I am seen there… but I never had this fear back home, so maybe thats more of the issue… I digress…)

I want to put some redeeming truth here, like I know this is where God has me right now or something cliche like that… I know it, but I don’t feel it this moment. Thankfully that knowledge will carry me and I can trust Him to replace these home-sick feelings with confidence and contentment in His timing. I am growing and learning and processing a lot, and these feelings (far from wallowing, just so you know) are a part of the adventure here.

Speaking of adventure, I am going to Seattle in the morning with my soon-to-be roommate Leigh and Kyle’s wife, Anna. I better get to bed. Did I mention how much I love Vancouver? 🙂


8 Responses to “[safe]way”

  1. iveyfamily Says:

    I love reading this. I will be a faithful reader and when I think of you I will pray.

  2. kyle Says:

    thanks for your honesty. we are quite elated to have you with us in vancouver…hang tight and keep looking for god amongst the mess. thats what i do.

  3. Stu Bish Says:

    welcome to vancouver. I’m an aquatience of Kyles and a staff member of YWAM over here (we also are on the drive). All the stuff you said, is great. As we all find out over time, the drive has a funny siren call about it. So lap it up while you’re here!


  4. Hilary Says:

    Lace! Know that you’ll consistently be in my prayers. This adventure of yours is so exciting! Hang in there, and take lots of pictures. Some day you’ll really relish all your crazy memories. Love you girl.

  5. *thelongbrake Says:

    you are blessed that you get to take such a short trip to seattle.

    i have to wait a year.

    am i complaining? yes. sort of.

  6. Toria Edwards Says:

    I thought about you this morning at church Lacey. I was thinking about all of the different doors you tried before finding the right one.

    Southern: nope
    Talbot/California: nope
    Portland: nope
    Nashville: nope
    Vancouver: the door was flung wide open!

    You are where God wants you, and I know he is going to use you mightily!! Love you!

  7. Jenn Says:

    I love being able to read what’s going on in your head. I can just feel the life seeping through your words. It’s so good. And I get more excited every day about seeing you! (today= the 22 day mark) Please call sometime! Tomorrow afternoon after 3:30 would be wonderful. I miss you, Lace Face.

  8. ginger Says:

    so excited to hear about your experiences and how you’re learning… i wish i could come and drink coffee with you!

    it’s funny because lisa makes many references to all the weed she encountered growing up in vancouver. strange how it’s such a dominant part of society.

    glad you’re loving vancouver, babe… enjoy it! god’s got you there for a reason!

    i love you and miss you!

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