It’s been just over a year since I first arrived in Romania. I’ve been feeling the need for a while to take a trip back to the U.S. for some time to rest, visit family/friends, and share some stories with all the support team back home.
At first, the idea was super exciting. The last few months in particular have been difficult here, with life in the city really starting to wear on me and homesickness setting in as well. Not to mention the chest cold I picked up a month ago that hasn’t gone away. (Oh, I just mentioned it.) The thought of getting to visit home again was looking really good.
But then I started to realize Wisconsin isn’t really home anymore. Yes, I have many family and friends there, people who love me, but it isn’t really home anymore. I grew up in Green Bay, but I’ve only visited periodically since 1999 when I graduated from high school. My family lives there, but everything’s changed, and I don’t really belong there anymore. And though I spent about ten years ministering to students in Spring Green, that’s not really my home, either. I’ve moved away, and others have taken over the work I used to do.
I’m starting to feel out of place already.
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged anxiety, fundraising, home, homesick, missions, prayer, return to USA, trust, visiting US, wisconsin, worry
Everybody responds differently when they feel overwhelmed. Some people grit their teeth and just keep plugging away, doing what they’ve always done and beating the hare like the tortoise. Others freak out and do something crazy, sometimes even ending up with awesome results. Others are like me. They flee.
When I get overwhelmed, I need to get away. I need to take a breather, get away with God, find his perspective on things, and then come back full of the faith and confidence that he will do what he promised.
So this week, I took a couple days to relax, hang out with some of the guys, and seek God in the woods.
I’ve got just about two weeks left before I leave the country for a year, and I’m trying not to be anxious.
Key word: trying.
I tend to worry a lot. I think often about what might or might not happen.
And, you know what? It doesn’t really help things turn out any better in the end. Go figure.
I’m always really happy and really sad when graduation comes around. With this being my last year in the River Valley, the feelings are definitely accentuated. I’ve known some of the kids walking across the stage today since they were 10 years old. Some I just met a few weeks ago. Some I didn’t even know. I’ve subbed for most, nearly all, of them at least once, and for many I’ve subbed numerous times. Some I’ve gotten to know quite well, like younger brothers and sisters. Some are still like strangers. Some I’ve been able to help through difficult times in their lives. Some I’ve seen grow in their spiritual life in remarkable ways. Some I’ve seen make some major mistakes and then get back up and do okay in the end. I’ve seen some screw up in little ways their whole lives and still not have things figured out.
Some I’ll see again, I’m sure, somewhere down the road. Some I’ll never see again. Some will have changed much, some for the better and some for the worse. Some will pursue their dreams; some will fail miserably.
That’s 38 days until my departure date… Wow.
In this whole thing, I’ve flopped back and forth from “freaked out” to “in denial” to “excited beyond words.” Right now, I feel mostly freaked out and in denial. (How does that work? Seriously. Does this mean I feel freaked out about something that’s not actually happening??? Or that I’m in denial about freaking out about something that is actually happening?)
During the past months, I’ve been learning the language, reading about the history and culture of the people, selling my possessions, packing and sorting through what to bring with, saving money, talking to people about supporting, and in general preparing as best I know how.
But in these months of preparing, I have often found myself asking, “Have I done enough?”