I recently read a post on another family's blog. It resonated with me. This particular family had spent some time in Mexico, working as missionaries, and now they are back in their own hometown. The husband and father of this family wrote about how different they were upon coming back. He found himself biting his tongue more. He thought so much differently than those he had left behind. It was all sort of strange to him.
We have been away from our hometown on two separate occasions. While we were gone, a lot was learned and so much changed for my husband and myself. We studied, read books, talked and had experiences that I don't wish on any, but lessons that I wish on all. While we were gone, life continued in Salem, Oregon. Most stayed the same, but still some things changed.
Mostly folks just kept going on the course they were going on, a few twists and turns here and there, but steadily along they all went.
We zigged, and zagged; we darted one way and then another, climbed mountains and hit deep valleys.
We came back both times looking the same, but we're really not- with firmer convictions and things so deep and we cannot even express the impact on our hearts. If we try to express it, many just don't get it- either we can't express it well enough, or well, you just had to be there.
Sometimes we come across dear ones that have been in full-time ministry, and sometimes get moments of camaraderie. But for the most part, we're on our own. It's not that we aren't supported or encouraged or that no one wants to understand where we're coming from. I just wonder if it's confusing for folks because we look the same, but we're not who we were. We're just different now. We think very differently now.
To those who knew us for years, we must seem quite freakish.
At times that feeling brings a little bit of loneliness, if I'm being honest (and I prefer to be so, as that is what is God-honoring).
I wouldn't have it all taken away though. I would rather be a freak among friends and family, having gone through the trials of the last 6 years or so (really, who's counting?!), then to go back to who I was when I first loaded the car to head to California on a wintry January day.
Nah. I'd rather be a freak, definitely a freak.