One month from today.

on December 20, 2010 in Dreams Coming True, Scotland with 22 comments by

In exactly 30 days, I land in Scotland for a four week adventure that I have anticipated, on some deep-in-my-knower levels, since 2000.

I don’t even know how to talk about it.

I have so many questions for God. I hope Scotland holds those answers. Maybe not the place itself, but the time. The distance. The lonely moments without any of my friends. The quiet moments. The conversations with my Scottish friends. Conversations with my God.

So I’ll pack my things in one suitcase [or two] and I’ll stuff my questions in side pockets, shoes, and other tiny spaces.

I have questions about my art. What is next? What does that look like? How soon can I start and how soon will I be done? Is it another book? It is something else?

I have questions about art in general. And creating. And worship. And how my life is art and how I want to grow in that.

I have questions about my future. Is it Nashville? I hope so. Is it Scotland? I hope so. [And 2 “I hope so” statements aren’t a good thing.] It is some weird hybrid of the two + more? Is this trip about clarity or deeper longings? I want to know what’s next.

I have questions about God. And me and God. And who we are as a unit, if that makes any sense at all. I want to know Him and I want to know what our next adventure will be.

I have questions about this little book. About God’s plan for it. About where God’s plan for it meets and takes over my plan for it. And what the next steps are.

I have questions about relationships. [Oh here she goes.] About why some work, about why some don’t, about why some have to be sacrificed on the altar of God Knows Best. About how to have healthy boundaries and healthy honesty and how to cultivate the kind of community that breathes those things.

I have questions about how all these things work together. What does this puzzle look like when all the pieces are finally laid down? How do my desires to be a speaker and my desire to live overseas coexist? I feel like my dreams are an overflowing toy chest and I can’t decide which toys to play with first.

I have questions about my dreams. The ones that I shout from the rooftops and the ones that I barely can whisper to my closest friends. And I have questions about your dreams. And how we keep talking about them until they are real.

I have a lot of questions. Many of them I am almost too afraid to ask.

It is not that Scotland is to be a Magic8 Ball that I turn upside down for answers. Instead, I want Scotland to stir up those bubbling questions so fiercely that I can’t help but seek out the answers.

I feel the bubbles even now. I can’t tell you how many times a day they simmer and pop and float to my mind. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know what God is doing, but I know the times, they are a changin’. In the words of CS Lewis, “Aslan is on the move.

So a month from today, when I am a weary but happy traveler, I hope I don’t have all the answers. I hope I am not looking for answers.

I hope, instead, that I can no longer contain the questions.


  1. Deb Simon
    posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 6:20 AM  |  reply

    Awesome post Annie…truly a 1000 pice puzzle! But
    how glorious that the Lord is giving you the
    gift of going to Scotland! May all your dreams come true
    in His perfect ways and timing!

  2. Ellen Bartlett
    posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 6:39 AM  |  reply

    Wow. Yes. We have questions. Sometimes I have a vision – the same one over and over actually 🙂 – of people in our life holding pieces of a puzzle. Some hold small pieces, some hold large pieces and yet I know that they all fit together. My prayer has been something like, Abba, can I just see the picture on the box that holds all these pieces? The answer is yes, but not yet :).

    Questions…yes, we have lots of questions :). And we know intimately the one that has all the answers. In His grace He reveals snippets all along the path so that when the revelation comes, we “get” it.

    Scotland for a month. Wow. Sounds like God has lots of answers for you there…

  3. posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 6:49 AM  |  reply

    can’t wait annie!! although, the country has somewhat ground to a halt after two weeks of snow, hope it clears enough for you to get here safely!

  4. LD
    posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:07 AM  |  reply

    First of all, I have to confess that I’m not wearing my glasses (#shocker) so I read that as “Asian is on the move” and was VERY confused. Aslan not Asian. Get it now.
    Second, a whole month?! What will I do without you?? Probably cook a lot of fish. And miss you a ton!
    Third, I want to squeal thinking about this trip for you! The time to unplug, the time to be still, the time to surrender… can’t wait to hear everything the Lord speaks to you!! Its going to be awesome!

  5. posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:01 AM  |  reply

    I love that you’re not looking for answers but wanting to just unload the questions…that is a beautiful place to be, for sure. God is so good, Annie and I know He has amazing plans for you. This is just a step out of the boat into what He has for you as you walk with Him on the water…blessings to you, my friend!!

  6. posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:10 AM  |  reply

    Hey Annie, I have an acquaintance who I knew through my work (I work at a seminary, she and her husband were students) who lives in Edinburgh and has a huge heart for discipleship. To get you two together, I imagine, would be pretty awesome. If you like, I can see if she’d mind me giving you her contact info–at least she could direct you to a local church while you’re there.

  7. Son
    posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 12:49 PM  |  reply

    You inspire me to do things.

  8. adria
    posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 2:24 PM  |  reply

    I love your questions. 🙂

    “Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

    I find such peace and mystery in knowing that a ‘no’ only means there is a greater ‘yes” ahead. So love the heck out of those questions and enjoy Scotland. 🙂

  9. posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 3:24 PM  |  reply

    So jealous you are going to Scotland..there is something magical about that land. And my respect runs deeper for you for even honoring those questions. Most people either don’t stop to ask the “why’s” or are scared to b/c of what the answer might be. Truth be told the great men and women of the bible were not the perfect ones but the ones ravenous to live step outside the safety lines and grab His hand!
    I can only imagine He will exceed your greatest expectations!

  10. posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 3:25 PM  |  reply

    I hope you find some answers to my questions while you are over there with all that time and space on your hands 😉

  11. posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 5:11 PM  |  reply

    Any chance you could come down my way?

    I’m not kidding. Please come!

  12. posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 8:16 PM  |  reply

    Ummm, you basically just wrote about so much of what has been going on with my own thoughts (minus the going to Scotland part).
    For months I’ve been thinking to myself, “Aslan is on the move”.
    I wonder what He is not only doing for so many of us as individuals, but what he may be moving and working for so many of us as a group of women in His service.
    Exciting times!

  13. Merideth
    posted on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:50 PM  |  reply

    Annie, I have all the same questions you do. But, I keep wanting to figure out/know the ansers, and struggle with the confusion that sometimes comes from not knowing/understanding. Around the same time that you are embarking on your Scotland adventure, I’ll be beginning one of my own(but, not as exciting/adventurous as going to Scotland). Praying for the Lord’s movement to continue! So excited for you, Annie! I hope you have the best and most rewarding time away. Love ya.

  14. posted on Dec 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM  |  reply

    Annie! We are the same person. Not only am I currently reading the Chronic(what)cles of Narnia but my family is also considering moving to Scotland for missions. My parents will be visiting over there to see what opportunities there are in the summer and then we’re thinking about going there long term in a few years (hopefully along with some in our church family)! So, basically, if you decide to go back long-term or short-term in the future, you could totally come be a part of God’s ministry there with us!

  15. posted on Dec 21, 2010 at 11:26 AM  |  reply

    I just wanted to say that I’m proud of you. Getting away to get away is both a great and uneasy adventure. There are lots of “what-ifs” involved and it takes one brave human to stare them in the face and demand the answers. After all, isn’t it easier to avoid all together? It’s what most of us do.

    Yeah, I’m proud.

  16. Laura
    posted on Dec 21, 2010 at 5:38 PM  |  reply

    I wish I could go all the places that you do. . .:D

  17. posted on Dec 22, 2010 at 8:19 AM  |  reply

    You’re a treasure seeker. Sometimes the questions are the answers themselves.


  18. posted on Dec 23, 2010 at 10:38 AM  |  reply

    Annie, may the “wonderful counselor” of this season be your guide.

  19. posted on Dec 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM  |  reply

    Wow, Annie. You put into words so beautifully what I am feeling! I leave for Africa in 3 days and know that it will change the direction of my life. And I don’t know what that will look like, but I am open to God’s direction.

    I also LOVE what you wrote about art. Because that is probably my biggest question about the direction of my life right now.

    Thanks for sharing so beautifully.

  20. posted on Dec 29, 2010 at 12:33 AM  |  reply

    “sacrificed on the altar of God Knows Best.”

    BEST line I’ve read all year. Anywhere. Sounds like you have an amazing adventure ahead of you-cannot wait to hear more as it unfolds!

  21. posted on Dec 30, 2010 at 12:04 PM  |  reply

    Oh girl….”I hope, instead, that I can no longer contain the questions.”

    As if the rest didn’t get me…especially the part about the alter of God Knows Best, then the last line did. Now I’m turning over the words in my mouth trying to find the Rainer Maria Rilke quote about loving the questions and that is enough. Oh to just be.

    Praying your trip abroad will be all the things you didn’t even know to hope it could be.

  22. posted on Jan 01, 2011 at 3:59 PM  |  reply

    Whoo-hoo and I hope you enjoy it! I lived in Scotland for four years and have missed it for this year and some change that I’ve been in South Africa. During your time in the rugged and brave land, may the Lord grant you grace and Mel Gibson-esque frrrrreedom as you search for answers, and learn to be okay when you don’t have all of them!

    Have a bacon roll with brown sauce for me!

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