About 2 months ago I finally broke down and bought a pack of safety pins. That’s how I knew we’d been back in the States a long time. We’d been here long enough to have clothes to adjust, splinters to remove, and stuff to attach to other things. We’d had enough times where we really just needed a safety pin and scrounging around for something else just wouldn’t do anymore! And I keep saying to myself, “Don’t I have one of these? Oh yeah, I do but it’s in Taliabo.”
Transition is a huge part of our lives whether I like it or not. For as long as we’ve been stateside this time, I still have a hard time feeling fully present. Back in training I often imagined what parts of overseas living would be the hardest, like, perhaps, making food from scratch or trying to keep up with laundry. Transitions didn’t really make the list. But now I’m realizing that it’s a big part of serving overseas. For most of our married life we’ve lived in a state of transition with a few random times where we stayed put for a year or more at a time. After a while it starts playing tricks on your mind. Your brain can sometimes feel like it’s in two places.
We came back to the States for Evelyn’s birth right before the world turned upside down and were supposed to return back to Asia Pacific in September. We expected to be in a bit of transition adjusting to a new family, but we didn’t expect to be delayed for the foreseeable future. We’ve been living in hopeful limbo for the past few months waiting to get the proper permissions to return to our other home–the other home where I have a good stash of safety pins tucked away in my sewing kit.
Due to being in a consistent state of sleep deprivation with a little one, my thoughts don’t always make sense anymore. I’m sure the logical conclusion to my train of thought is that, “home is where you’ve lived long enough to need safety pins.”
That’s not really what I’m trying to say! Mostly, I’m just trying to say that transitions have played a bigger part in ministry that I expected, and I’m still learning how to navigate them well.
My least favorite part of transition is when my mind starts to detach from one place and imagine myself in the other. The problem is that I’m still very much in the one! And I know I need to be fully present and let tomorrow take care of itself. Sometimes I also get a feeling of dread at the overwhelming feeling of how I will manage the plane flight or the jet lag or the adjustment to the heat again. God has reminded me over and over to cast those cares upon him. We are in the transition zone right now, wanting to return but not sure when we will be able to. I’ve had to take those feelings and really fight to take my thoughts captive.
But when I think about it, the transitions we’ve weathered means that we have multiple places we call home. We’re blessed to have two places where we have friends, two places where we can enjoy different aspects of life (village life in the tropics vs 4 seasons in the US), and two places where we can fellowship with the body of Christ.
And maybe that achy feeling of not quite fitting in or being truly home won’t leave this side of eternity? Maybe during the transition times it’s meant to drive me to talk to my Savior who is preparing a true home for me?
Here’s how you can pray for us during transition times:
Pray that we can be fully present wherever we are.
Pray for us to be patient as we wait on Gods timing.
Pray for us to take every thought and feeling captive.
Pray for courage and joy to face the future adjustments.