Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chapter 18: Re-entry

My two years in Africa were precious.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world and will always hold them close to my heart.  It helped define who I am and taught me more than I can ever express.  By the end, I knew that my time there was complete.  The women’s ministry was self-sustaining, and there was another intern lined up to come work after me.  Health wise, I was pretty sick.  I had struggled with things like parasites a lot while I was there, and then I came down with malaria just weeks before I was to come home.  Safe to say, I was ready to get home to a clean house with clean food.  I already had a job lined up to work at Belhaven and a house to live in with some of my best friends.   It was time.
When I think back on that plane ride home, I think of the last couple pages of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, “It will not go out of my mind that if we pass this post and lantern either we shall find strange adventures or else some great change of our fortunes… In the name of Aslan, let us go on and take the adventure that shall fall to us.”  After they tumbled back out of the wardrobe, Lewis writes, “It was the same day and the same hour of the day on which they had all gone into the wardrobe to hide.”  When I got home, it was like no time had passed.  I was different, but home was exactly the same.  There were still a billion choices of toothpaste, still debates about the most trivial things, but now all of these things were magnetized to me.  I was in culture shock as I began a really busy first two weeks back in the States.  It’s all pretty much a blur.  I saw a few doctors and had several tests done, my dad re-married, I packed up and moved back to Mississippi, and I started my first desk job.  Even after I was settled in to my new job and house, I still felt like I was caught in some kind of a whirlwind where I couldn’t quite get my feet anchored to the ground.  I’m so thankful for the safe and secure place the Lord provided for me to live and work during that time.  I was surrounded by supportive friends, awesome churches, and an amazing Christian counselor who really took me under her wing.  She helped me see things clearly, more objectively, and helped me work through my culture shock and the changes happening with my family.  Slowly I felt the shock of everything subside.  In its place I began to feel joy, and the longing and excitement that normally come when there is another pending adventure just around the corner…        

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