In deciding which piece of artwork I would like to reflect on at this moment in life… this day, something about the tiramisu stood out.
I’ve tried to think of some of the times I have enjoyed this wonderfully creamy and fantastically caffeinated dessert. Most of the times I have had it were in celebration of something, or when I wanted to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, or in this instance eat the tiramisu.
It was a little less than a year ago that I had come to the decision to leave Italy, where had been my home for the past two years, and return to life in the United States. I was going to start again. I was going to try to figure things out. I was going to be hopeful about what God may have in store. I wanted to expect the unexpected and be optimistic about what those unexpected things might become.
I know it will sound a bit indulgent perhaps, but my last two weeks in Italy were filled with tiramisu moments. I had little I had to do at that point. All my packing was done, as I have always been an over-planner. So, I decided the wisest course of action was to live life Italian style and visit as many charming Italian restaurants as I could, force myself to spend at least 2 hours there for lunch, and, of course, order the tiramisu. I remember reminding myself to breath with each bite. It would be ok. I had so many emotions then to accept and surrender in each moment. Some of those were the traditional challenging ones like confusion and pain. And then there was the uncertainty that loomed over. But, in this moment, I could breath and thank the Lord for the breath and thank him for the tiramisu as well.
Fast forward to now. The past year has shown months on end of job searching. Unexpected health challenges. The loss of community and the building of relationships I knew would only be temporary as I scoured the country trying to figure out where I would land next. And now I am in Chicago. I came hopeful and excited. And only a few months later, I find myself in a very similar situation as I had been in a year ago. There’s pain and there is confusion. And there is so much uncertainty. And a new time of job-hunting waits. It can seem so overwhelming, so insurmountable a mountain.
When I think how this time a year ago is so similar to where I am now, I can see one huge change. God has grown me. He has been faithful and time has affirmed this for me all the more. I did go through a hard year. And in that hard year, God gave me a refuge and home with my family. He gave resources that I needed to keep going. He gave my parents wise hearts to give encouragement and support. He did give me community for however temporary it was. And, he gave me each breath along the way. I knew this a year ago, but my vision was cloudier than it is now. A year ago, I knew God would be faithful, but I didn’t actively look at the times before that affirmed his faithfulness. Seeing the truth, seeing his faithfulness is what will make all the difference between fear and courage when facing heartbreak, health scares, loss of communities, loss of jobs, and the simple uncertainty of what is next. He is doing something. He is always working. And it is always good.
And on that note, I think I know of an Italian restaurant close by. Perhaps they have tiramisu. It might be a good option to spend some of my time job-hunting over my phone after ordering a bit of tiramisu there tomorrow.