I’ll be honest as I usually am. I have been contemplating writing this blog for a while now. I know it is something that needs to happen. It is a good way for me to somehow organize my scattered brain right now. A way to be able to put into words what I am feeling even though I really don’t know what I’m feeling. That is kind of the space I have entered at this point in the journey.
This year has been a lot, PERIOD. It has been full with visits, new people, new homes, old friends, coming home friends, family and more. It has been trying new things and experiences. It has been dealing head-on with tough issues and things I would rather not deal with. It has been diving into deep rooted parts of me and trying to understand and make changes. It has been finding and understand rest. It has been about loving me for me and understanding deeper who me is. So, when I say journey, that is truly what this year has been. Now, we enter into a new space as we venture back to Ecuador. It is familiar and new all at the same time. We aren’t the same people we left Ecuador as and I know those in Ecuador are not the same as they were. The ministry in Ecuador has grown and changed. Friends have changed. Some are there, some have embarked on new journeys of their own. All is different and all is the same.
A lot of people I’m sure wonder what the transitional, missionary life is all about and why we do it. I often wonder that too. Sometimes I realize that I didn’t have things figured out last transition to the States, but now I do for this move. Only to realize that there are a whole new set of emotions, decisions and things I can’t even name that I can’t understand. Why would I cry over place mats? I don’t even USE place mats? I cried because those place mats had memories attached. They were used for countless Christmas dinners. It is a thing. But this missionary life makes things like that simple decision complicated. You can’t take everything like that in your suitcases. You can’t hold on as tightly to things as I usually might. To most, those simple things are simple. For me, they are hard. When people ask about this life. At this point, on this day, in this time, it’s hard. Period.
Simeon asked me today as we were packing yet another bag, ‘mommy, why did you start the Santiago Partnership? Was it to help people?’ I explained about ‘call’ which I’m sure to a 9 year old boy sounds pretty interesting. I told him that we followed what God asked us to do. Sometimes, at different times in my life, those few simple words sounds crazier than they ever have. To say to myself, I am following what God asked us to do when I have to say goodbye to my best friend and her family. When my son gets off the bus and cries in my arms because his heart hurts that he had to say more goodbyes. When we have to pack up and leave behind a family house that has so many wonderful memories. Packing up our lives once again and deciding what is important enough to make the journey with us and what will likely be thrown away (for instance old photo albums, antiques and bluebird houses). Do I know these are just things you may ask? Of course and that is why the decisions are made for those things to stay behind. There are not bluebirds in Ecuador that I know of. But my heart still hurts because those things would probably stay with us if we lived in the States.
Would I change the call I feel God has placed on my life? No. There are some days, hard days in ministry when my call has been what has gotten me out of bed in the morning to continue. Would I be happier here in the States? Well, I know we would be fine if that happened, but I also know God hasn’t called us from Ecuador. God has placed us there and if we were anywhere but the will of God, we wouldn’t be living life obediently or abundantly. You don’t think about your children crying in your arms because they have to say more goodbyes when you answer YES to serving as a missionary. You don’t think of what ‘home’ is or your lack of definition to that simple word anymore when you raise your hand and say “send me!” You don’t think about the guilt or the goodbyes or the problems and struggles when you say “I will go”. You just…GO. PERIOD.