10 days ago I left the other side of the world and came back to the side I was born on. People know it takes time and is not always easy to readjust to your own culture once you’ve been gone for a while and have made a home in another place… so they, kindly, ask. Here’s my answer:
It feels like a dream. This must be a dream. Or that must have been a dream. BOTH can’t be REAL. I don’t know yet how to fit them together – other than inside of me.
I got home tonight to a package. Inside it were a couple books about “re-entry” because some thoughtful people knew we’d need them. One of the books is a devotional called “Coming Home” (by Howard and Bonnie Lisech). 15 days of things to read through, think through, process, pray about… I read the intro and found the perfect analogy for what it’s like…
When Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and Susan stepped out of the wardrobe, they were shocked to find out that no one seemed to know anything abut the world from which they had just returned. In Narnia, they had experienced the breathtaking beauty of the place and its citizens; they had discovered things about themselves they had not known before; they had conquered evil; they had known love on new and different evils; they had met friends that had challenged all of their normal ways of thinking. They had been important people there. They had completely become a part of that world. So when they walked out of the wardrobe, they were shocked to find their changes were unapparent to everyone around them. When to the children, the changes they saw in themselves were so great that they were now almost completely different people.
“Coming Home” (by Howard and Bonnie Lisech)
I lived this life for the last 13 months that most of you have never experienced. You may have followed my blog and read my emails and talked to me a lot (… and I’m so grateful for that. Really. It makes it so much easier!) – but you weren’t there. I was there. I lived it. I was molded and changed by it. And it’s in me. That place, those people – they are mine. They are a part of me. And I want to share them. But I’m not always sure HOW. How can you experience their beauty? How can you love them like I do? (I know it’s possible because I think my mom does – except with a mom touch… ) How can you learn from the way they think and the realities of their lives? How can I describe them in a way that makes them real to you?
And what about the people who don’t care? Or the people who might care but they just don’t know how or that there’s even something to care about? What do I do with them? How do I “be myself” with people who don’t have a clue that there’s this whole other world locked up inside of my memory and tucked away into my heart????
Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and Susan understand. So do a lot of other people actually. I am thankful for friends who have gone through similar times before and understand. I am thankful for my family who have always walked beside me – even when they can’t do so literally. I am thankful for people who love me, love Jesus, and love people – even if they haven’t had the privilege of meeting them…