Thursday, July 31, 2014

In the Middle and at Peace

We are currently in Swindon, England, with Isaac's family. We are marveling at how we are doing, because this period of transition is known for feeling chaotic and displaced, and we grew up saying goodbyes that have been, especially for me, the hardest thing about this lifestyle.  And yet here we are, feeling so refreshed, renewed, excited, and joyful.

It's the oddest thing to be in the middle of massive transition and huge goodbyes.... and be totally content, joyful, and at peace.

Goodbyes have been the hardest thing about the live I've been given and now am choosing again, and I think that I and the people that know me best all expected this to be a deeply sad time of leaving family and friends to live across the world. Then there's the transition. Moving a family across the world and into a new culture can be completely chaotic and disorienting, and I have seen that in the transitions that friends from our organization have made over the past year.

Because of all of that, it's really just odd that Isaac and I both find ourselves so content right now.

It wasn't hard to leave Texas. Is that because I really have felt like I never fit with Texas, it was never a home? Is it because the entire time we've been there, we've been preparing for leaving?

It wasn't hard to leave my family in Colorado. Perhaps that's because I have mourned taking my kids away from extended family for a year or more now, and that mourning is past? Perhaps it's because I really don't believe it will actually be four years before I see them. Something - weddings, medical needs, family visits - something will likely pop up. Then there's just modern conveniences. Skype. Face time. That helps.

It isn't hard to be in transition. Perhaps because that's what we've been doing all of our lives, so it feels in some ways more natural than living in Texas did.

On the Sunday before we left the country, the pastor called us before the church and had dad pray for us and people surround us. It was poignant because Dad and Mom are looking back on years and years of work overseas, they know where we are going and they know the beauty AND the deep struggles we are headed for. I can't remember most of what my Dad said through his emotional cracking voice, but I know he ended by praying that in the end we would look back and know that it was worth all.

They look back. We are looking at the beginning. It's a bit like a marriage. I do not want to romanticize the life we've chosen. I expect it will be hard, painful, perhaps even devastating at times. It's just's what we're called to. And, knowing that, we set our minds on the goal and move forward with great excitement, because it's a grand adventure God has us on. My mom put it well. It's a bit like marriage. You know it will be hard sometimes, but when you are engaged you are just ready to get it started because to a certain point, there's nothing to do but begin!

We flew out 13 years TO THE DAY that I flew out of Indonesia. Very bizarre. We only realized that when we were watching home videos a couple of days before we left. My family saw us off from the Denver airport, and Rachel saw us off from Heathrow... nearly the exact group that saw me off from the Bali airport all those years ago.

I realize now the truth of the statement that it's harder for the family that is left behind, because we have the excitement of going to do what we want to do. We have been preparing for this our entire married life. The support raising and visa-obtaining process stretched out years longer than we had hoped, which sweeps away any of the hesitancy and makes us feel like, let's just get there already! I left with very little sadness and great excitement and sense of responsibility. For the sake of the call.

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