I haven’t made a blog post for a couple months and haven’t written much on returning back to the states. This post isn’t for photographs or memories but merely processing and understanding what life is like lately, in all honesty.
Since returning to the states on April 23 after over four months of being gone, lots has happened. I went through all the clothing I own and mostly everything I own, selling and donating much of it. I lived with my parents for a little over two weeks, with access to a kitchen where I got to cook again and nights in my bedroom I grew up in. Who knew a queen bed was so big and comfy?! I took our family dog, Ellie, for walks, ran errands, went grocery shopping.
One of the first couple days of being back I was grocery shopping with my mom in Trader Joe’s when I almost started crying in the frozen foods aisle….ooh culture shock is so fun and weird and difficult. The next day the biggest story on the news was about a stage that had collapsed in a high school in a small town in Indiana, minorly injuring students. I could’ve chucked the remote at the television. I was angry, confused, upset and perplexed at the fact that several men Christian men were executed a few days prior and the biggest story on the local and national news was about a stage collapsing…seriously?! American media has continued to frustrate me.
If I’m being honest, it’s been difficult to not become cynical being back in the states. I’ve just returned from four months of the experience of a lifetime, learning more than I could’ve ever imagined and I come home and everything is basically the same, even worse. How can people be so blind and not care to understand what is happening around the world? It’s all so entangled and deep rooted. Thankfully, the Lord has shielded me from becoming angry to the point of cynicism. I recognize that the experiences I’ve had cannot be explained nor learned by someone. I have been blessed with this new understanding and perspective and all I can do is hope to lovingly share it with others. The reality is that it doesn’t matter what I’ve experienced or learned if it’s all for selfish gain. Because His ways are higher than my ways, and oh, how long has He has this understanding and perspective and not gotten frustrated with me? Wow.
Relationships. Trusting. Life. These things have been a process. Coming back to people and family has been good and confusing and a process. It’s just interesting coming back a changed person. I don’t know how to process this. Four days into coming back, I went to Chicago and looked at a couple of apartments. The second one we looked at, we took. I moved in ten days later, without a job, only knowing one of the four girls I’m living with and not really knowing what I was doing. I’ve been here for a week now and each day has gone by with different experiences. I’ve had three interviews. Turned down one job and in the process of accepting two. I have been sleeping on a spare bed, not really moved in yet because one girl is moving out. Always in a state of transition…young adult life is fun.
Since being home, I can truly say that I have been so desperate for God to lead me in everything. There was a rough patch of being home of just not wanting to read the Word. I wanted to want to but my heart wasn’t in it. I hate that. BUT I can always see there is purpose, coming out the other end. I feel as if I’m experiencing a lot of desiring something but not being able to acquire it. What I find most comforting is that God KNOWS the desires of my heart. Living in obedience to Him, being patient and trusting in His perfect plan has proved to lead me to nothing but joy. the night before moving in, I realized that it may be the last night I ever sleep in the house that I grew up in. I realized I may be making a really silly decision in the eyes of many. But then, I was comforted by Him because I knew that it was exactly where He was leading me. With SO many unknowns, He gave me the strength to say yes and follow.
So being back in the states has looked a lot like this. Culture shock, processing through who I am in Christ, unknowns, desires, patience, trust, dependence, learning, yes, following.