Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Day 50: Finding Peace in the Unknown

"Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere." -Glen Turner
I think that this is quite a fitting quote to begin my entry on 50 days of waiting for my elusive visa. Last week, leading up to the promise of a hopeful day 45 when I would know whether my visa application was accepted or rejected, I was a nervous wreck. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't turn off my thoughts, and I was missing DH so dearly. I kept thinking, "what if my visa is rejected. I will find out my 'fate' any day now." What I didn't realize then is that when I kept worrying (and at the same time saying I was trusting God to bring myself peace), I was working against God's plan for DH and I rather than allowing that plan to play out in God's own perfect way. Passing the 45 day mark of my wait paradoxically brought me peace rather than added anxiety and frustration. How crazy!

You see, praying, "God please allow my visa to arrive by Friday" (the glimmering, hopeful day 45) was doing the opposite of having faith--it was making demands of God that I now recognize were unreasonable! So, when last Friday nothing happened, I finally gave up my anxiety and decided that it's now completely in God's hands. I'm not trying to be all preachy in the least; rather, I'm just giving an idea of how I personally overcame my anxiety over something beyond my control. 

A Shocking Confession (gasp!)
When there was no visa last Friday, then, my visa consultant made a confession (shh! I think's it's supposed to be kept on the low down, but if you're reading this, you're likely interested in what's going on with Canadian visas for Saudi, and it's only fair I let you in on the play by play). 

Around the time I last wrote, she'd informed me that after 30 days she was being notified by the Saudi embassy in Ottawa if visa applications had been rejected, or if there were any problems with applications. After 42-45 days, visas were accordingly consistently arriving back to her with no issue. On Friday, however, the story changed. Sick of "covering up for the embassy," and feeling terrible for DH and I being apart for so long and for giving us false hope about being reunited soon, she confided in me. In reality, the embassy has apparently "lost track" of the dates on which Canadians have been submitting their visa applications. The computer system into which our information is being put is inconsistent. A visa application was returned to my consultant the day I called, after 50+ days of "processing." The embassy said there were documents missing. The "occupation" listed was no longer valid (in the nearly 2 months since this person applied, rules had changed), and this particular individual was forced to reapply, thus commencing yet another 45+ day wait. 

So am I scared? Kind of! I am worried that I won't see my husband until June when his contract finishes. I am concerned that we're getting into debt, that I soon have to begin repaying my student loans, and that only one of us is working. But I'm also trying to trust. Trust that there's something bigger at work in all this. That if I'm supposed to make it to Jeddah to enjoy a beautiful pink sunset with DH that I will get there. And if that's not part of what's supposed to happen, then so be it. I am strong. I will make it through whatever comes my way. 

Time for Plan B?
I have accordingly been applying for college teaching positions in Toronto, and keeping the door open to the possibility that I might be sticking around here. Not that that will necessarily happen--I have to hear back from the embassy sooner or later and know what's happening! But, for the sake of my sanity, I am being proactive and being open to whatever might happen.

There's a certain sense of peace that having foresight brings. Yes, that elusive peace. And the elusive visa. Somehow the elusiveness of both can coexist.

Oh, and I must append this entry with a lovely new development (insert sarcastic tone here)...
I just read a job posting seeking female teachers for Saudi Arabia.  The "European Recruitment Agency" appends the job post with the following:
Unfortunately we are unable to open this vacancy to applicants from Canada as visas are taking up to 90 days to clear through the Canadian Saudi Embassy. Also, the Saudi Government has recently implemented a change in their visa allocation. As of October 2011 we are unable to put forward female candidates aged below 27 or over 60 years of age. Unfortunately we, as a recruitment agency, have no flexibility on this new ruling. Therefore if you do not fall into the correct age bracket (i.e. you are aged between 27–60) please do not apply.

New Additions to Pink Jeddah Sunset
You heard it here first! I've added a couple of tabs up top:
(1) "Further Reading" ( and 
(2) "News" ( on recent features on the blog. 


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