Saturday, July 30, 2016

Kinda Like Childbirth and Toddlerhood: Fond Memories and Pain Amnesia

We recently had the blessing of getting together with some friends whom we had met when we did our cross-cultural training six years ago. They are serving in Europe and they will go back for another term at the end of the summer.

I loved seeing them. AND, seeing them made me realize a few things.

  • I am still very much processing our time in Nicaragua. I realized this as I heard myself start every other sentence with: "When we were in Nicaragua...." 
  • While I want to work with missionaries in the member care arena, I am not 'there' yet. During our time of debriefing last summer, the analogy of a "Transition Bridge" was illustrated. We have crossed over the 'chaos' portion of the bridge, but we are still in the 'resettling' zone and I believe we need to be further into the 're-settling' zone (or even 'settled' zone) before I am ready to really come alongside others in an objective, helpful and healthy way. 
The Transition Bridge

I found myself feeling a little envious that they will return to their host country in a few weeks. Crazy, right? I think that 'serving cross-culturally' is like pregnancy (or the toddler years of my kids) for me. That season was really, REALLY hard but I seem to only remember the sweet moments. OR it could be analogous to childbirth. Several months after giving birth, I had pain amnesia. The pain memories had faded and I only remembered the sweetness of holding my newborn for the first time. Yet, I am thankful for the sweet memories I have of our time in Nicaragua. That time changed me profoundly. I am grateful to have experienced that depth of change. I also made sweet, sweet friends who may be far away now, but I will have for forever in Eternity.

This re-settling thing is interesting for sure. Thanks for walking it out with me.