It’s finally happening— we are taking our Canadian citizenship tests at long last! Yes, we have been living here for 19 years, and yes, we do procrastinate, and yes, I should definitely be studying my Discover Canada study guide rather than blogging about it. But I’m pretty excited about this momentous experience, so it’s only fair that I share it with you, right? 🙂
Truth be told, I am having serious difficulties focusing on the 68 pages of Canadian info. I’ve memorized the capitals of provinces and spent some time admiring the maple leaf and the beaver, and I’ve read all about Canadian history (although I don’t think much of it actually sunk in). But I am yet to tackle the section on government, federal elections, and the justice system. Honestly, politics is not my thing, and I would rather discuss pretty much anything else on the planet, but I realize this is my chance to actually learn and grow. Sort of. Plus I don’t want to fail the test and be deported… they won’t do that, will they?
I feel utterly blessed to live in this fair country. Kelowna, B.C. is a particularly beautiful place to raise a family and enjoy all four seasons to their fullest. Our boys are automatically Canadian having been born here, but our daughter was 2 years old when we emigrated from the U.K., so she has to join Lyndon and I and take the test next week. I do actually feel rather guilty flying her home from Montreal in the final semester of her last year at McGill Uni, and just 7 weeks before her wedding… but then again, I’m ecstatic to have her home for a sneaky visit! Naturally, we will be studying and cramming Canada all weekend long…
As much as I’ve been lamenting the fact that I have to hit the books for this thing and attempt to memorize random names and bizarre facts, it has been enlightening. Yeah, I now know that a Canadian invented basketball and that “Iqaluit” is a real place and not a spelling error, but I’m also gaining a fresh appreciation for this country. I’m also realizing how incredibly fortunate I am as an immigrant from the U.K.
We chose to uproot our lives and fly to Canada— mainly for adventure and because it looked like a totally cool country to call home. We certainly weren’t forced from our homeland escaping persecution, and we weren’t fleeing for our lives. But as I’m pawing through my little study guide, I know there are some reading these same pages who have been through a nightmarish scenario to get this citizenship opportunity. While I may roll my eyes (quite often), I know that there are some who are drinking in every word, in awe of this stunning, peaceful, embracing country. This is their Eutopia, and every paragraph is confirmation for them that they are safe now in a land they can all home. It’s quite humbling. And it makes my heart swell.
How much do I take for granted? Probably everything. This has been a learning moment for me— not just the stuff in my study guide, but the fact that I have never felt at risk in my country. Not only is this place breathtaking in its natural beauty, but it’s a land of freedom and peace and prosperity. And we get to live here and enjoy every single day. Wow.
So next week, I will go with my husband and my daughter, and we will take our test (at 8:31am precisely!) and have our interviews, and hopefully Canadian citizenship will be a reality at last. After delving into Canada a little, I’m extra proud and extra grateful for this honour, and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for our futures in this incredible land. I should go and cram Canada now, and I will certainly let you know how we get on next week. But I’ll leave you with these verses from Psalm 139— they have been, and always will be, very precious to me:
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”