as some of you may already know, i left Liberia about a week ago (temporarily, don’t worry!) and am currently at home.

…well, kind of. i’m currently in Seattle. and getting ready to drive to Idaho.
but i used to live in Seattle. before i moved back to the east coast. which was…you know, before i went back to Liberia.

anyway, since i’m still having some issues with all this processing stuff and still don’t quite know how to [eloquently] say all that i want to, here’s a few jumbled thoughts on what it’s like being back.

one:: i move around too much.
but seriously. for a creature of habit who thrives in routine, this constant jetting around is exhausting. i just want to settle. to have a place to dig my feet into for a while, put down some roots. i want some stability, some security. i don’t want to be in constant flux much longer.

two:: i’m tired.
granted, as i’m writing this, it’s 6 in the morning. (but wait…that’s 9 in the morning in Pennsylvania. and 1 in the afternoon in Liberia.) no matter how much i sleep i get–or don’t–i’m pretty much always tired these days. it’s a deep down, feel-it-in-your-bones tired.
what time zone am i in again?!

three:: i miss Liberia.
well, parts of it. okay, i mainly miss the kids. this is always the hardest part about leaving. i spend day in and day out with them, cultivating relationships, learning to do life with the least of these. and then, right when it seems i’ve reached a deeper level with them, it never fails; that’s when it’s time for me to go. and while i (want to) trust God’s timing in all of this, sometimes i feel like a failed auntie & mama–because i’m afraid i’m going when they need me most.

four:: how am i ever going to be able to walk away for good?
seriously. if this is how i feel while i’m taking a three month break, what’s it going to be like when the day comes for me to leave Liberia permanently? because the longer i’m there, the closer i get to them. and the thought of saying goodbye makes my heart ache.

five:: but i know i can’t stay forever.
i know that this is a season. granted, it’s an incredible, chance-of-a-lifetime season that has changed my world and transformed me in the process as well. it’s an honor and a privilege to be in Liberia, sharing and showing Jesus with His precious little ones there. but it’s not my forever. there are other things i want to do, want to experience in life. and so, when the time comes, i’m going to have to walk out of this season and move into the next.

six:: that’s scary.
i know–duh, right? change is never easy, and to think about another okay-time-to-start-my-life-over-again experience kind of terrifies me.
but this i know: He that is in me is greater. and so that is what i will hold on to in my fear.

seven:: i am like, ridiculously blessed.
for reals. though i’ve only been back a week, i am daily overcome with gratitude at the sheer awesomeness of the people i have in my life here. a beautiful church that understands what it is to be a Body. a family that has taken me in as one of their own. friends that make me laugh and also let me cry on their shoulders. pastors that pray deeply and fervently for me.
and this will not change, no matter where i am in the world. when i’m in Liberia, i know that these people will love me and pray for me and support me as i serve. and when i come home, they will still love me and pray for me and support me as i transition. (and if you’re one of those people reading this, let me say thank you. from the bottom of my heart. you are nothing short of a gift to me, and i am so, so grateful.)

so there you have it. like i said, not particularly eloquent. as a writer, that kind of makes me cringe.

but it’s real.

and often, the things that come from the heart are messy and jumbled. they are not perfectly polished; they don’t have it all together.

and you know what? that’s okay.
i’d take real and messy over pretty yet empty any day.

thanks for letting me be real, friends.

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