Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Heart Divided

I had a rough night. Let's be honest, over the last five years I've had quite a few of those.And surprisingly it has nothing to do with my kids' sleeping patterns.

(My rough night started, thinking and not being able to sleep, so I decided to gather pictures for Kora's birthday party.Looking through all the pictures made me so homesick for Thailand).

So here are some of the pictures that got me no particular order:

Leaving our family to go to Thailand.Making new family traditions, all while seeing pictures of everyone else's holidays going on just like clockwork without you.It's hard.

Then you come back (to have a baby in my case) and you have this idea that everyone is going to do cartwheels at the airport and stay up late having heart to heart conversations about the "year from hades" you just experienced.And they don't.Sure, they're glad to see you, but the you they know doesn't exist anymore. And all the changes and nuances about you can hardly be accepted and understood with one hug or simple conversations.

So all that ALONE you've been feeling just continues, and you want to go back, so bad, to the new life you know.Which is a good thing!

We went back to Thailand after having Kora and I appreciated everything so much more. Was it hard? At times, but NOTHING like that first year. In a way, I was still alone, but it made good sense, there was purpose.Thailand was home, it was familiar.

And now we're here, in America, not at all what I had planned. Frankly, not at all what I wanted.But as soon I as I felt at peace about leaving Thailand, when I felt sure it was what God wanted, I had the strength to do it.It didn't change my "want to", not right away, but I was able to act with confidence.Not confidence in myself, or in this world, but in the one who made both.

And as you ALL know, I am jumping up and down, dancing, singing, out of control thrilled about what God had planned for us.Far above what I could think or imagine!Yet, at times, I still struggle.Why is that?

I know we made the right decision, I know the path ahead of me is bright.The struggle comes from the loss, and part of me still has a deep longing for the life we had, and the life I foresaw. I don't think that's wrong.It's a process. I think I'll always grieve, to one degree or another.And my heart will always feel divided, I've said before, it's like I have one foot in America and one in Thailand.I love them both, yet, I don't completely fit in either.So, it doesn't really matter where I'd live, I'd be missing something or someone.And that's not bad.

The problem comes with what we do with that.Today, I wanted to sit down and cry. Instead, I'm blogging, processing. If we let the feelings of loss consume us, we're grounded.We're stuck.So I'm telling myself what I tell Kees, "It's okay if you need to take a minute, but let's make a good choice."

Today, I choose smiling as I remember the good times. I choose blogging, and worship songs!I choose channeling all that ADHD energy into something productive.Last night, I had my moment, I cried, I grieved.Today, I'm gonna stand up, and put one foot in front of the other.

I know many people who are going through various kinds of loss right now.And even their loss can feel overwhelming to me and it's not even my loss.My encouragement to all of us, experiencing loss, is to put one foot in front of the other. If you know you're on the right path, keep moving. If you're not sure, stop, pray, reflect, ask a trusted friend. Find the path God has for you, take as long as you need to find it, but trust HIM when you do.

Love to you all! Happy 2014!

And I thought I'd share a couple of previous blogs on this topic, if you're feeling like a good cry is in order. Okay, you probably won't cry, but I'm a big fat baby, so yeah.

Okay the first one is from when we first let everyone know we were leaving Thailand, when it was all fresh and we had no idea what the future would hold.

This next one was written on a "hard" day.

And this one is pretty similar to what I'm feeling now, trying to finish well!
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