In five short weeks, I will be returning home to Seymour.
After lots of prayers, different opportunities and many different options, I am still left with no plans. At times, this can be very discouraging and sometimes even very frustrating. But what I’ve learned is that there is a very specific reason why the Lord is not revealing to me what I am supposed to be doing after this journey, and he may reveal that to me now or he may reveal that to me months from now.
But regardless of the frustrations and discouragements, I rest in the comfort that the Lord has a plan for the next season of my life. I rest in the comfort of knowing that the Lord has me in his hands and that he will reveal things to me in hs perfect timing. I’ve learned that it’s OK not to have my life perfectly planned, and it’s OK that I’m not meeting society’s demands of “knowing what’s next.”
So many people have asked me recently my thoughts and feelings on returning home. Recently, thoughts of home have been a common thing. But in fighting through those, I have learned the importance of being here now and being completely where my feet are. But in thinking about the many questions I have received, here is how I feel.
I am excited to get home. I have missed my family, friends and church family so much. I am excited to get home to show my community at home what I’ve learned, in ways I’ve changed and to show them what the Lord has done in my life over the last nine months.
While there is so much excitement, I’ve come to realize how difficult coming home is going to be. It is going to be a time of mourning and sadness. This lifestyle has become my normal. These people have become my family, and this journey has become my mission for my life. Things that I never thought would become my normal have become an everyday part of my life, such as living with 40 people, ice cold showers, guarding my stuff with my life so that I don’t get robbed, walking down the street to pray over people and so much more.
Do I miss my old “normal?” Absolutely. But I am going to miss my new “normal” so much more. Coming home will be a time of letting go of a life that I have created away from home with a group of people that I can call my family and my church.
A time of mourning because Indiana is such a drastic change from the last nine months of my life. Because I am leaving people I have spent 275 days with. Because I am leaving behind people who I have poured into for the last three months in Ecuador. Because I am saying goodbye to one of the sweetest journeys I have ever been on with the Lord. Because I am ending one of the most beautiful seasons full of growth, healing, redemption, freedom and learning.
But the Lord keeps repeating, “This season is ending, but your journey with me doesn’t end.” And then I am continually reminded of my desire to come home and pour into everyone around me — my friends, my family, people in my church and my community. And the Lord keeps reminding me of everything that he has taught me and how big of an opportunity I have to take those things home and share them, to be a vessel for the Lord and the opportunity that I have to allow him to work through me.
I am reminded of all of the sweet lessons that the Lord has taught me through others, and he reminds me of how much he has done in my life and how desperately others need to hear about his goodness and his glory.
One thing I have learned over the last nine months is to not live in fear. I don’t have fear of coming home, but I do have fear that my life and relationship with the Lord will never be the same. But that’s Satan. The Lord keeps telling me that he doesn’t just work overseas, but that he works where I am. I have to allow him to use me in his kingdom, whether that be in Livingstone, Zambia, or Seymour, Indiana.
If I am open to him, he will move. I have a heart for missions, but I’ve learned that I can do missions in my own hometown, and I think that is one of the sweetest lessons I’ve learned recently.
Life on the race is hard, but it creates a space to grow and to grow deeper in the Lord. Coming home will be hard. There won’t be a space to wake up early each morning to have quiet time with 30 other humans who are pursuing the Lord as hard as I am. There won’t be a space at my home to have worship nights with 30 other people. Things will be different, and things will be hard, but it will be one of the most rewarding transitions I will ever experience.
I keep repeating to myself over and over, “This season ends, but your journey with the Lord doesn’t.”
I am worried. I am scared. I am nervous. I am excited.
The reality of things is that I am coming home a completely changed and different person than I was nine months ago. I am nervous to come home a completely different person to friends and family who just don’t get my new way of living. I am nervous about coming home and falling back into the way I was living my life before this journey. I am nervous about coming home and being too comfortable. But I have come to the realization that it is going to be one of the most bittersweet and overwhelming transitions.
I am excited. I am excited to have the opportunity to live missionally in Seymour, to bring a whole lot of Jesus and walk in love in a town that is so special to me, to pour out the love of God to people who are so dear to me.
“Home” is different than where I am, but where I am has become my home. So coming home will be a time of mourning, but it will be a time of learning so much more about the Lord.
The Lord has done so much in my life over these last nine months — way too much for me to keep it to myself. I am so ready to bring what I have learned home to share with people. I am ready to pour into those that the Lord lays on my heart. I am sad to end this beautiful season but oh so ready for what is next.
I unregretfully ask for lots of patience and understanding during my transition back home, as it will be one of the hardest but one of the sweetest.
See all you beautiful humans in five weeks.