This is one of those honest posts.
The kind my husband will read, will look at me and ask, “Are you sure you want to say that?”
And I do. So here it goes.
I don’t want to go back.
There. It’s out now. Free for all of the web-a-world to see. I’ve been afraid to say it out loud; fearful that admitting it will make me weak, wrong or make it more true.
I don’t long for the perpetual heat. And the people questioning my every move, watching my children like hawks and taking picture of us like they are the paparazzi and we are the Jolie-Pitt clan.
I don’t want to leave my family and my friends and the fellowship.
I like the weather changes, Chik-fil-a and the church nursery. I like highways that get you from point A to point B in lightening speed. I like the cleanliness and the parks. And Aldi. And finding jeans for $2 at Old Navy. I like America.
When we sold almost everything 7 years ago and moved 10,000 miles away, it was easier. The adventure was before me. What’s that old saying? Ignorance is bliss.
I had yet to get that call that my grandmother suddenly died in her kitchen, alone. I hadn’t missed my brother’s medical school graduation. I hadn’t missed holding my new nieces and kissing their soft little cheeks. I hadn’t missed birthdays, Thanksgivings and Saturday morning cups of coffee with friends.
The internet is a beautiful thing. It helps me to stay connected. But it can feel artificial. I’m always watching life of my loved ones unfold on a screen while I am oceans away.
It is painful.
And coming home for even a short-time can be excruciating. The joy of being a part of the pictures on Facebook lasts only for a while. The reality of the short time and all the missing-outs can swiftly overwhelm me…already mourning for the soon to be.
I’m asked a lot, “You must really love living there, huh?”
The short answer. No.
I don’t love living there. I love living in the central air-conditioned U.S. of A.
But do you know what I do love? Being in the center of the Lord’s will. Knowing that this Story of mankind and His redemption. Being a small little blurb in the Story. His Story. That’s what I love.
When my life changed as a young 19-year-old college gal and I surrendered my will to His; I gave my life over. It is no longer mine, but His.
Does it make me happy to see my children speak another language, run through rice paddies and splash in the waves of the Indian Ocean? Yes. Do I enjoy the cheap veggies bought at the road side stall? Yes. Is it fun when my neighbor laughs at one of my jokes? Yes. Do I get great pleasure seeing my husband go out into the community, share and feel a deeper purpose in his career? Yes.
Do I love life over there?
The long answer. Yes.
Are you confused yet? I am.
So, whether I FEEL like I want to go back or not, I will start packing soon. Buying gigantic bags of chocolate chips to see me through. Saying my good-byes. Giving my life over. Saying “Yes, Lord, send me.” Again. And Again. Over and over.
Is it hard? Absolutely.
Do I regret going? Never.
Am I thankful? Always.
Am I alone here? How do you feel when you are packing up and ready set to move again? How do you keep perspective when you feel the sadness of the transitional, far-away expat life?
Photo Credit: Rebekah Gregg Photography