How does one begin to write a blog about the last two months living overseas?
Its been three weeks since my team and I have said our "see you laters" in Atlanta airport and quite honestly, I have had a range of different emotions since I've been back. Seems normal, since I was away from what was familiar for 2 months.
Crazy to think that 2 months filled with tears, laughter, screams, bugs, bug bits, iced wawees, Zion pad Thai, feed back, songtauws, thai friends, prayer walks, ministry, and journaling seems like a dream.
Although our team leaders went over re-entry tips, its very different to know about other's re-entry experience and experiencing it yourself.
When I was flying home to New Jersey, I sat at my gate, with little emotion, and a little out of it. I didn't feel like "grieving" my trip. I didn't feel like doing anything. I wanted to talk to the Lord about it, but I felt as if there was nothing in me that wanted to begin to process the past two months of my life. I expected to experience reverse culture shock, to be extremely jet lagged, and to be spending all the time I had to sit at my gate reading the Bible and talking to the Lord.
I got to my gate with some qadoba at hand, and sat their and ate. After I finished, I just sat there. I didn't know how to feel. Everything seemed normal. I wasn't tired. It wasn't what I had anticipated to be. As I tried to talk to God, I felt like what I had experienced in Thailand felt so far away. Although God did so much in my heart, it felt as if it all disappeared when I entered America again.
Until I began to read the letters from my teammates.
As I read through letters of encouragement and reminders of what God did in my heart this summer, it hit me.
This summer really happened.
And the flood gates of tears opened.
Thailand was real. What the Lord did in my heart was real. The feedback and the team times were real. The experiences my teammates and I had were real.
WAWEE COFFEE WAS REAL.
After that realization, I went home and tried to apply all that I learned to my life in America. I knew in my mind it would be hard, but I still wanted to pursue what the Lord wanted to do in my life here. The journey hasn't been exactly what I expected, but as my fellow teammates and AIM friends say "theres so much grace for that".
Although I don't always believe that statement, I am so thankful that the Lord is indeed gracious with me as I adjust to life back in the states. I don't want to just live my life the way it was before, even though my surroundings appear to be the same, I know that I am not.
Some advice for future passport participants:
-your expectations will be broken
-feedback actually works if you take it to the Lord
-be open to the Spirit as He leads you and your team
-don't expect your trip to look like our trip. be happy! God likes to do awesome things
..oh and, try an iced wawee at Wawee Coffee, you'll thank me later 🙂