Thursday, September 17, 2015

on returning

We've been back in the land of rickshaws and curry for about three months now. And I'll admit, it was much easier to settle into life this time.  We know a bit of the language.  I don't sit on the couch every night wondering how on earth to feed the family in the land of (in)convenience foods. Jude's plain rice (without spicy curry) at lunch is no longer a school issue. Silas knows how to hold his own in play school. Asher has adjusted fairly well to the cheek-pinch.  Hubs is enjoying more time to press forward in work now that I'm not juggling a language class schedule. Overall, we're settled.

It feels like home.  In an away-from-home kind of way.

Therein is the hardest point for me.  The first time we left our families, adventure was before us.  The second time, I knew what to expect….for better or worse. And, just like any country, there's plenty of better and plenty of worse. The first time we left, it felt like there was more light, at least in retrospect. The second time, certainly there was affirmation, but it was more of that long push toward obedience….obedience that feels like it might be staring you in the face for another 10 years or so.

The realities felt harder.  My kids won't get to share birthday parties with their cousins for another three years.  The grandparents will miss huge gaps in those lightening speed baby years. I'll feel lonely, a lot, and my sister will be asleep when I'm awake and ready to talk.

Settling back in certainly made it easier.  And I suppose it did, to an extent.  But the sting is still there…and the awareness that even after another 10 years, if I'm loving people like I should, the sting will still be there.  It's part of the package.

I have a few choices in the matter.  Life is so full of choices. I can obey joyfully, leaning into the Promise Giver. I can obey begrudgingly, tallying the cost at every turn and tapping my foot in impatient waiting.  Or, of course, I can disobey and bear the consequences that will inevitably follow. I'm working on the former rather than latter choices.

A friend who has been here much longer than I have stopped by the other day for a play date.  She made a simple statement that I found extremely helpful in processing.  As life seasons move forward, the cost of obedience keeps changing. You have to count the cost all over again because in every new season it's different.

But the promises never are. They are written in ancient stone, settled in the heavens, sealed for a coming day we can set all our hope on. Faith steps out again and again and again into unknown and sometimes back into the known-hard. It hopes for what is to come and lights it's eye on the promise of the Faithful One.


Annie said...

I pop in and read from time to time :) This struck home with me. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Good words! Even for those of us who find ourselves back on the other side of the world, but in places we'd rather not be. Think of you all often. Kari E.