I know basically all I’ve been posting about lately is coming back home, adjusting, and processing. Well, that’s because it’s been much more difficult to do than I originally anticipated. After six months of living out of my comfort zone, coming home sounded so blissful. I was NOT thinking realistically. It’s been hard.
Everyone has questions, and although that is 100% expected…I don’t always have answers. I haven’t fully or even really begun to process the past six months. I still don’t know all that it taught me or the ways it changed me. Those are things I’ll be discovering for many years to come.
One question I have been getting a lot is, “Are you back to normal?”
This one has sort of thrown me off. I understand what you think you are asking me. Do I feel comfortable being back yet, am I in the routine of things again? BUT in my mind that question says, “Are you throwing away everything you did to change who you were, to grow and stretch, all just to go back to who you were before?”
I know I’m analyzing WAY TOO MUCH into your question, but I’m getting a lot out of it…so maybe God is using your question to teach me something.
And, so to answer…No, I am certainly not “back to normal” and I honestly hope I never am. The six months I spent living life in Ecuador taught me who I really am. Made me learn to become independent, but to also rely on my team. To be strong, but remain vulnerable. To show love unconditionally, and be able to accept it from others. To have faith in myself, but to place even more faith in God. To pray without ceasing, and then pray even more.
Home here in the small town of Hartville, Ohio will always be “home”, but I now have many other places that became home in my heart. Coming home I think that has been one of the biggest things to get myself and those around me to realize. As much as I LOVE my little home town, my heart will never fully settle here again. Hartville used to have my whole heart, it was comfortable, it felt safe. But as I went out, I gave pieces and spaces in my heart away to other places and people. So now, here I am…back “home” but not quite feeling “at home”.
Back to normal. Nope, that’s not me. I’m changed, hopefully forever changed. Life in a new culture, alongside new people, speaking a new language, walking new streets, eating new foods. It made me into someone new. God made me someone new.
I know the questions will continue coming and I encourage you to keep asking. I may not have an answer that moment, but thinking through them in time…I’m learning.
Final Answer: back to normal? NEVER
The article above is a blog post I wrote in July 2017, after serving with SEND Ministries in Ecuador for six months. I think my words from nearly three years ago are so applicable to what we’re all currently experiencing.
Lately I’ve heard numerous people talking about wanting life to “get back to normal”. While I understand where your heart is, and the normalcy we’re all craving…let’s think about what “getting back to normal” really means.
Over the past weeks/months our way of life has changed, drastically. I believe that a lot of good has come from these changes.
I leave you with this question:
Are we really waiting to get back to normal OR are we ready to build something different?
“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT