The thought of returning back to my passport country is both exciting and a little terrifying.
Exciting of course, because we'll see our loved ones! Most of them we haven't seen outside of Skype for four years! And the thought of all the foods--donuts that are actually hot and fresh for breakfast, not at 2pm! Ham and turkey for Thanksgiving! American milk! Olive Garden and Red Lobster!
There will be time for walks on the dike, and camping trips, and bike rides.
And we'll blend in to the crowd! No one will stare at us!
But then there's the scary part...
It's been four years! What kind of cultural faux pas will we commit? We've heard all kinds of funny stories of things that missionary kids do...or missionaries. At least least they make for funny stories once the embarrassment wears off.
I think about what it'll be like for my kids. When you've spent half of your life outside your passport country, or more, there will be things that you just don't understand! Making new friends. Flushing the toilet paper. You can drink tap water?!? Speaking only English with new friends. Wearing the right clothes. Drinking from a drinking fountain.Using the right words! (I realize Clay and I have been at least 80% responsible for the English that my children speak. I am thankful that I began my adult life with a broad vocabulary. I fear that I sound more like a 2nd grader these days...three languages can do that.) And then there's slang!
And then there's me.
What if I can't make friends easily? What if I don't wear the right clothes? Or say the right things?
Will I fit in? What about that "cereal aisle" moment? (That moment when I go into the grocery store for a box of cereal...or tea...and an hour later I come out, my face covered in tears because there were too many options and I just couldn't choose! It's real folks. For me it literally was the box of tea.) Who will be there for me? Or when I can't remember the word for elevator and my mind has a glitch and I call it a helicopter? (Yep, that was me too. Remember, mom?)
I know that anyone reading this will tell me that I'm just being ridiculous. (Because if you're actually taking the time to read this you probably already like me! ha ha) But just understand that in the midst of rejoicing for our quickly approaching Stateside time, there is mixed deep inside an insecurity.
And then there's the issue of the people that we know and love in Pine Hill. The ones that we have been spending birthdays and holidays with for the last 2.5 years. The ones that still haven't accepted the gift of Eternal Life. We will be away from them for almost a year. So much can happen in a year.
So please be praying for us as we finish up this term. As I write this, there are only 43 days til our travel day. Pray that we will say our goodbyes, or our "see you laters." Pray that we transition well to our passport country. (It's hard to say "home" because for the last 3 years and 9 months, our home has been Chiapas, Mexico.) Pray that if/when we do melt down in the cereal aisle, that God will send the right person to laugh it off with us. Pray that we will learn to laugh again! (Living in a village has been stressful and our sense of humor is often at risk of being lost.)