I never thought I would say that title sentence during my year in Central America, South America or anywhere for that matter. I even shook my head as I wrote that title. Not in anger but just in the realization of this new reality. It is both a realization and a new "normal."
As we got off the airplane in Atlanta after a year away at language school we really didn't prepare ourselves for just how hard it would be to "home." The ride to my parents house was different, the people were the same (and a very, very welcome sight) but our surroundings were odd. Sure, the trees, roads and buildings were all similar but it just FELT different. What is up with this? Why? This is supposed to be our little oasis in-between Costa Rica & Colombia. We feel like foreigners and it is hard. There weren't the things of our daily routine there to put us at ease. For example, my parking attendant friend on the way to school wasn't there anymore or the smells of the corner bakery weren't wafting into our house early in the AM. And the noise... there wasn't any street noise!
"I'm not sure we really prepared ourselves for what all this transition would be like..."
Now please don't mistake what I am saying... Being home to see family, friends, our churches and missions partners was amazing! We wouldn't trade that time for anything and have cherished every moment. Every meeting or get-together was super precious and was so needed! That cherishing isn't something folks who live in the States will probably do very often. Even if our time was only a few hours it was so great to have a chance to wind down and share where God has us.
This is my first "rodeo" into missions so all these feelings are fresh and raw. Of course, Angel and the girls have shown so much adaptability and resilience. It is so cool to see but for me not so much! I'm not sure we really prepared ourselves for what all this transition would be like and I don't know if we really could have been prepared anyway. For the first time in my life I have felt a little out of place at every turn. It isn't easy, it is hard.
Where I have landed after these 3 weeks in Atlanta is this... God has me in every place, every position and every situation for a specific purpose. The goodbye's won't be easy nor will the changing up of our environment/culture either. But I just keep telling myself that it is OK, I was called to this life and that in and of itself is so amazing. God called ME to take His message to the people of Colombia. When He calls someone He will get us through the mildly tough times all the way to the things we don't think we can get through.
I write all as somewhat of a chance to clear my mind. A way to clear my mind from some of the grief and sadness that comes with this process. It is hard and I shouldn't hide from the fact that it is. Even knowing that my Heavenly Father is taking care of me and watching out for me still doesn't erase the human side of all this.
7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.
Phillipians 3:7-8 (ESV)