Years ago I traveled so often in a car to many different places across the United States in a period of nine months that I began to hate traveling. It left a bitter taste in my mouth every time we went from one place to another because there was no real break. There was no stop, relax and get together with friends for a few weeks. It was push, push, push on through. This was all due to fundraising as missionaries and the drive we had to go home, to our house on the mission field. Little did I know that once we got back on the mission field it was to be the for less than a year, and that I would say goodbye to my home, my country of growth and life for eight years. This led to a lot of heartache. It led to a lot of displacement issues, some of which I realize, and still see the affects of today.
There was an opportunity to go back to Moscow. It would have cost a lot. I was so close. Yet when I calculated the time, cost, and effort I would have to put into figuring out the logistics I decided that it was not the best idea. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my time in Europe. My heart leapt for joy when we landed in Italy. It is hard to explain, I’m trying to articulate my thoughts but my vocabulary is low in this area. Though I had never been to any of the countries I visited this summer, I felt at home. There was a familiarity to it that was warming, inviting, exciting, and comforting. After a decade away from Europe I felt at peace. Like a heart searching for something and never quite finding it till that moment.
Being overseas brought back so many memories. Lovely faces I had forgotten, names, languages I had not heard in a while, places that made me remember… I remembered the good, and the bad. The memories of all the hurt came back up as well. Reminiscing on it I remembered everything from the pain of loss, hearing that we would never go home. To being angry at God for allowing this. Then my burning disgust for the American culture that I was forced to be subjected to because I could never go home. All those memories, all that pain was remembered. It took years to let some of it go, but then some of it never really left. But when I looked up and saw Rome… all of those memories were made right. I let go. I let the familiar feeling of Europe take to my heart like a warm blanket on a cold night. It felt right. I felt better. After a decade I felt like I had found where I belong.
The feeling would be to that of a traveler who leaves home and wanders for years, and years, then comes back to the area they left and realizes this is where they know they belong. There were several places we stopped where I felt the peace of, I could live here. Perhaps one day I will. But for now I must abide on God’s timing. I’m Stateside again, and horribly jet lagged. My sleep schedule is all off. Yesterday I woke up at 4am. This morning at 5am, but I did go to bed at 10pm last night. So some improvement. It is just hard going back hours. I feel that going forward is always easier in long stretch time changes.
Overall my summer was great. You can read some of the blogs by searching for Day (number) and #InternationalTraveling. I made many new friends, acquaintances, and several dear friends. Some that I will miss more than the others because they made a greater impact on my life. Some that I’ll probably never see again, and I’m okay with that. For one day I will see them on the Other side of life. Then there are those who I hardly ever interacted with, know very little to nothing about, and for honest to goodness we made such a low impact on one another that I could go on without thinking of them but I’ve been charged, by God who knows all things to pray for some of them three times a day. I won’t go into detail but God has enlisted me in the spiritual warfare surrounding this person. On that remember to be praying for me to constantly be remembering to pray for this person.
Be also in prayer for a young man that was on this trip. God has revealed to him that a lot of growth is coming his way. I’m not sure how much God has shown him, but this man is very young, and as he was sharing I’ve felt my compassion and empathy welling up as I’m not sure but I think God is going to lead him into some trials similar to my own. If you can be in prayer for both of this people. God knows names. He knows who they are. All you need to remember is that all of us need prayer. Moody Bible Institute needs prayer. The students, faculty, administration, etc. they need prayer. Those that were on the trip need prayer. Some of them need desperate cries to the Father to keep them strong as they are about to go through some really tough challenges. Never underestimate the power of Prayer. Sometimes you may be horribly jet lagged, and waking up in the middle of the night not knowing why but with someone on your mind. Pray for them. I’m a firm believer that when those things happen its because there is a battle going on that you are called to participate in. Don’t leave that person unprayed for.
Anyways, I’d love to keep typing, because I love sharing, but toodaloo!
With love from the Lafayette, IN area,