It's a weird thing Reentry. There is reverse culture shock which for me looks like randomly occurring panic attacks. They happen when I can't remember someones name that clearly knows mine at church or when I am trying to recall what to do at a busy freeway interchange or when learning something new to me but old to you like self check out or when there are just way too many options in the store for cheese. I mean seriously?...An entire aisle just for cheese?! I am not complaining exactly but it's just an overwhelming amount of choices.
Then there is the grief. As a missionary it seems like you are constantly dealing with one form of grief or another. This grief is the form of untangling of my heart with the ministry and the people of Kosovo.
There is also the readjustment to the fast paced California life and speech. There are the moments of being completely overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the future. There are the times when I can't think of the word in English because I am mentally speaking Albanian. There is the longing to see friends and family but knowing that I just can't "people" until I get my head on straight or at the very least get over jet-lag.
Thank you everyone who has backed off and given me time to readjust while still making me feel welcome. Thank you for those who have given things like a loaner car (Cavary Murrieta) a place to stay (Mama Nancy Crosby) or gift cards (the anonymous gift basket fairy). Thank you for those who have been with me thus far on my journey and have not left me simply because I am "back".
For those of you who are asking "What's next" to be perfectly honest I just don't know yet. I am taking the steps that I know to take. I will be two weeks at a counseling center in Washington for missions debriefing and help with burnout. After that I will be coming back to Southern California and most likely looking for employment.
As the hymn goes "O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!" In all the turmoil of my mind, heart and circumstances this speaks to me greatly. Ultimately I seek the peace of God in my decisions and I can only get that by being in His presence.
Is there an area of your life that you need God's peace in right now? Welcome to the club! Make time to be in His presence and don't leave until you have His Peace that passes all understanding.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support in this transition. Now that I am more able to "people" let's catch up. Let's do lunch or coffee or cheese.