I spent some time going back to the beginnings of this blog site, reading again those early days of preparation for our journey to China just one year ago. Each post builds upon the other – the excitement that we were actually going to actually leaving to I can’t believe we’re actually here ….and, then, before we knew it…it was….over….time to go home.
There was this sense of – yes, I want to go home…with the pull to stay.
I knew I would miss many things – mostly precious lives that began to gel into friendship. Once we left their soil, there would be no knowing of a return. The conflict was profound.
Returning takes as much energy, prayer, and support as does the preparations for departure. I didn’t “get it” until I experienced a taste of what that means. Honestly, I knew it in theory. We have many friends and acquaintances who travel and live all over the globe, and we’ve purposed to be supportive and attentive to their particular journeys. But, in our own recent, and brief experience, we weren’t prepared to come home….the conflicting emotions, the rational was intense. This was a transition neither of us saw coming. But, then, how could we?
“We were only gone three months!” I share with folks. As if a time-frame is the measure of one’s experience and how they adapt.
We were hit with not only the fatigue from travel, but there was emotional fatigue as well. I think this was the most difficult to understand. Health issues hit both of us. One in particular set my husband back for several weeks, if not months. But, the depression, discouragement, loneliness, inadequacies…on and on…we just didn’t understand what was happening.
It’s interesting to look back at nearly a year after our departure, and see there was more going on behind the scenes than we were aware. When you’re living through a situation, it’s often clouded by the immediate. We had to acclimate and it felt like we were swimming up stream. My dear husband hit the ground running in his business. My involvement in Perspectives and Mission Connexion NW was right on the heels of our return. We were a mess. Everyone around us were naturally carrying on with their lives as if we had never left. Of course! It was our lives that were interrupted. It was us who left everything on hold…work, a newborn grandson, birthdays missed, weekly church fellowship, new neighbors….
Coming home, one would think, would give us a breath of fresh air allowing us to let-down and rest. There’s no place like home “they” say.
It just didn’t happen quite that way.
And, I would ask others how they “do it?” Everyone is so different. Why did we feel we were the ones different?
Christmas passed us in a blur, winter was upon us. Month-to-month became day-to-day. Feelings of displacement and loneliness were intense. “We were only gone three months,” I kept telling myself, over and over. But, what I didn’t realize was how strong the spiritual, emotional and physical toll a journey like ours would take.
How do you find the words?