Pre-transition Insomnia

Remember those nights back in high school or college when you had a huge test the next morning in a class you had perhaps (or absolutely) blown off too frequently?

Remember how you’d lay in bed, trying desperately to keep up as the flashcards of facts and figures flitted through your brain, muddied up by your list of “to do”s which were at the periphery of your mind until this perfect opportunity for distraction?

I do too.

This is the night when it hit me.

On Thursday, I will be driving to Anchorage with a guitar, two suitcases, and a one-way plane ticket to Minneapolis. After three wonderful years, I will be returning to Minnesota to explore a call as the Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry at Elk River Lutheran Church in [you guessed it] Elk River, Minnesota.

The cocktail of emotions is a bit overwhelming, too. I have never been in this type of situation. I am absolutely excited to be with the children, youth, parents, families, and community of Elk River. But I am devastated and weeping inside (and sometimes outside) about leaving these people whom I love so dearly in Wasilla.

That being said, I want to share two songs with you, both of which have been on repeat for a few weeks in my life; words bouncing around inside my skull and sometimes leaking down into my heart. In many ways, “Caledonia” by Dougie Maclean and “This is Not the End” by Gungor are narrating exactly how I’m feeling about leaving this place and these people.

“This is not the end; this is not the end of this

We will open our eyes wider.

And you know you’ll be alright.”

Thanks be to God.

Stay safe, and be good to each other.




5 thoughts on “Pre-transition Insomnia

  1. Ian, You are doing this move with such strength and faith. I believe this is an inspiration to all you know. And those songs are just lovely and the line you posted was a great messaged I needed this morning. Thank you and looking forward to your return.

  2. I love you. I’m so excited you’ll be back, and that you’ll get to spread your love and energy to the Elk River Lutheran Church community, but I ache for you in leaving your Wasilla family. I hope you can find peace, rest, and some laughter in the next week.

  3. We have been listening to “Caledonia” over and over since we first knew you were coming home in April. It still brings me to tears to hear it.

    Selfishly, I am super excited to have you back home, but I know that coming home means that you need to leave your Good Shepherd family and friends. I hoped you would be accepted in Alaska. I hoped you would come to love Alaska. I hoped you would have people to spend the holidays with in Alaska. And of course, I hoped that you would find your way back to Minnesota when the time was right.

    The time to return to Minnesota is here, and I am so grateful that you were so warmly embraced by the folks of Alaska. I am grateful that you fell in love with Alaska in a big way. I am grateful to every family who invited you to join them for holidays and countless other days – just because.

    We can’t wait to pick you up from the airport next Thursday, but we know that when we greet you, you will have mixed emotions. We will be by your side walking with you as you adjust — just like the amazing folks at Good Shepherd walked beside you for the past three years.

    A new, exciting chapter awaits you. I know the folks at Elk River Lutheran will welcome you, and love you too. What a gift we are given to experience new opportunities.

    Sleep well tonight, Ian. Alaska is only a plane ride away. I bet they will welcome you back to visit! I love you.

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