|I am surprised my heart has never burst from how much I love these kids!|
As I drove home from a 3.5 hour trip to the grocery store (ugh, seriously) I thought about how nice it will be to just be able to go to Target or the Wal-marts and get food and other needed items. But then almost immediately I thought about how I would miss the "fun " of my shopping experiences here.
As we prepare to come back to the U.S for a visit later this year, these kind of thoughts are continually running through my mind. I can't help but think about how much I will miss my little friends and their hugs, smiles, fist bumps, and laughs. But then there are absolutely no words to describe how unbelievably ecstatic I am to be able to play with our niece and nephews. Words are unable to capture how excited I am for hugs from our parents and siblings, shopping trips, Sunday lunches. I cannot wait to have coffees and dinners with our friends, but then I feel some sadness when I think of not seeing our teammates, co-workers, and friends for a few months.
I think of how much easier driving will be there, but then I will sort of (surprisingly) miss the adventure that driving brings and the huge feeling of accomplishment and bravery after each trip. I am so looking forward to some really good pizza, but I am going to miss the places we have Ethiopian food and Indian food. It is exciting to think about waking up in our family's home, but we will also miss our new house. Our routine will be so much different as we temporarily leave jobs and roles we absolutely love. In that, we know there is time needed to refresh and reflect.
We are looking forward to seeing loved ones in person and not through the computer screen. We cannot wait to share about Missions of Hope with our supporters and partners (and anyone who will listen!) The ache of missing our family and friends will be gone for a few months. Yet we will still miss so many people living here that we really love. While being surrounded by English may be easier, we will really miss the Swahili and other languages constantly spoken around us. While we are looking forward to worshiping in the way we known most of our lives, we are really going to miss our fellow church members and the dancing!
When I am honest with myself about this, I desperately want these things to sort of cancel each other out. I want to feel neutral or maybe what I want is to feel normal. When I pray about and prepare my heart for this time, I shed tears over both things. Happy and sad. Comfortable and a little scared. Ready for rest and to exhale, yet knowing I will miss the pace of life we have here.
Our lives are a seemingly constant paradox. What was once so foreign has now become so familiar. And what was once so familiar and all we had ever know will undoubtedly be in some ways foreign. As we straddle the globe, we accept this as reality.
Oh my goodness, we are so looking forward to being with you. Your prayers and encouragements sustain us. We could not be here without you. We cannot wait to share a laugh, a story, to hear all about your lives, to share about our friends here and God at work in Missions of Hope, to share a meal, to take a road trip, to hug you, and so many other things. In those times, we bring here, this beautiful place we also call home, to you. Together the worlds collide and we see God at work all over His created world. He weaves our lives together into this beautiful display of love and grace. Together we share and together we see Jesus more clearly.