journal rewind

Tonight I decided to hit the journal rewind button. At this moment on this night last year, St. Patrick’s Day 2009, I was flying to Germany to visit. Here is what I wrote while waiting for my plane.

17 March 2009
K-ville Airport

I’m going to Germany tonight. AHH!! So excited am I – but also apprehensive, emotional; unsure of what it’ll be like. I pray for good catch-up conversations, and I look eagerly forward to the hugs of my precious girls. Yes, they’ve changed and so have I. Perhaps I’ll feel like an outsider to some degree: I am, in that I’ve missed nine or so months of life at BFA. But I still love them, and they still love me. And I still love Wittlingen itself.

…Still 45 minutes until my flight leaves, but I’m going to move over to the gate area. (I love that they have rocking chairs by the windows here. And that they’re building a Starbucks behind me.)

Rewind another year. It’s March 2008.

29 March 2008
Wittlingen

So spring break is nearly over. I’ve been back at Witt since Thursday night and no one else is here yet (I expect Teri and Rachel tonight, I think). It’s weird to be the only one here. A bit creepy, actually. But I’ve gotten some stuff done. I guess I’m not sure how I am really doing. When I got back, I was exhausted and cried hard for a while. Since then I’ve been tense and thinking a lot about the future but not doing anything about it. I should probably fill out more job applications and send them in, although I don’t particularly feel like it. I’m scared of the upcoming transition. I’m scared of the goodbyes, I’m scared I won’t get a job, I’m scared of loneliness (will my future be as lonely as life in this huge dorm alone?), I’m scared I won’t fit in when I return to my old friends, church, and group. I feel normal in this world but I’m scared that there, in my home country, I’ll feel like an outsider. A weirdo.

…But how can I regret the decision to come here? I can’t. I love the girls, this community, and the changes God has made in me too much to wish myself back in 2006, deciding to work at the library and continue teaching part-time instead of coming here. I’ve learned, I’ve seen, and I’ve loved. No matter what the results, I cannot regret it. And life is always full of pain and hardship. To love is to invite it; to open one’s arms to the pain of goodbyes that must inevitably be said. Ways will part. It’s simply part of life on earth.

I think my issue is that of distrust. I struggle to believe that God has something as good – even better, and different – for me after this place. He might test my patience but He won’t leave me destitute and out of work. Surely not…yet many people are out of work. Will I be one of them? If I am, will I choose to trust God anyway?

I feel like every decision I make right now is affecting my life – and people are watching. It makes me afraid to choose anything in case it’s a mistake. But really, every decision always affects a person’s life, and people might be casually watching but there is no way they think about me half as much as I think about myself. How funny that we delude ourselves into thinking that our friends study and criticize and judge us. That they are obsessed with our decisions. They don’t and aren’t because they don’t have time. They are too busy stressing over their own decisions and self-image. Life in the flesh is so hideous in a sad sort of way. Ironic.

The sun is shining beautifully and I’m sitting in the backyard enjoying it. I feel a little better after addressing these things. Now, if I spend some time listening to God today I think I’ll feel even better.

Two years. In some ways it seems yesterday; in others, a long time ago. It’s enlightening to reread my thoughts and apprehensions then, and see how life has played out since. I’ve got many thoughts about that. They’ll have to wait for another entry. For now, this is just a flashback. Back to 2010.

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