Friday, August 5, 2011

Thoughts on Coming Home

As I was preparing my nightly snack of whole milk and cookies (I’m trying to gain back the ten and something pounds I’ve lost) my roommate exclaimed “You’re leaving in less than two weeks!!!” I feigned a smile and tried to get back to reading my SHAPE magazine, ( yes, I read fitness magazines while eating cookies) but she’s too smart. Camille began asking me questions about how I’m preparing myself to go home and honestly, I haven’t been.

I’m so excited to see my family again. I miss them a ton and know it will be great seeing everyone. I love thinking about how good it’s going to feel when my plane touches the ground. I think about whether I’m going to smile or cry. I picture hugging my family at the airport. All of this is great, but after that, I blank.

I don’t have a job back home yet, I’m horrible at long distance communication so I haven’t had many good talks with friends since I’ve left and in general, life’s just going to be different.  I’m going to drive a car, buy all my food in a supermarket, have all the hot water I want and even have a cell phone again. *SHUDDER. You would think I should be excited for all of these nice things, but quite honestly, I’m dreading them…

I usually feel like I am working so hard that I don’t have time to take a deep breath but mostly, I have more time to think, pray, read and write. I’ve never had such quality quiet time in my life. Without the distractions of everyday life back home, I’ve had more time to reflect on my life, my relationship with God and others and my character. I feel I’ve learned a lot here and I don’t want to forget it as soon as I’m thrown back into life as usual.

I’m afraid really. I dread answering the question, “How was your trip?” I know people don’t want a four hour recap of my life here, but I’m also not comfortable with chalking it up as a “good experience” and leaving it at that.

 I just can’t seem to take the things God has shown me here, all the people I’ve met and all the beautiful and ugly things I’ve seen and chalk them up as mere “experiences.” It’s been life. It’s been waking up every day, not knowing what obstacles I’m going to have to face but knowing God’s going to give me the grace and strength to get through my day. It’s been knowing that I’m far away from home, family and everything I know but never feeling more sustained. It’s been living every day knowing I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Taking my heart to work with me each day and pouring everything that’s in me into what I’m doing and asking God to fill me again so I can give a little more the next day. It’s been lessons to stop relying on my own strength, intellect and emotions. It’s been an attempt to die to self but really just being blessed more and more.

So, there it is. There’s some reflection. No pictures or attempts at witty captions. Just plain, honest words from a girl that’s a little afraid to come home. 


  1. Oh, I know the feeling! When I came home from Mexico, I just kept feeling like I need to digest this, I need to sit and process, but then life just gets going and you can't just sit and think anymore. But I think if you have been soaking it in as you've been gone, a lot of that internalizes and you never really do live the same. I never leave water running while I brush my teeth - stuff like that. Those people and the things you have experienced really do affect what you're doing forever. You know what's interesting, though, is that I live now the same way as I did then - waking up every day with missions songs running through my head, enthusiastic about what I am called to do today, even though it looks really different. I think perhaps once you learn to live in a trusting way like that, very sure you are where you're supposed to be, perhaps you don't forget how to do that. Praying for you!

  2. I like the way you described your time in Cambodia as simply being life. We Americans typically try to categorize those "experiences" and isolate ourselves from them because we're unwilling to face this world's realities.
    Best wishes as you adapt to life back in the US. You will continue to be faced with obstacles but the same grace from God will be available.