We moved to Guatemala in June but have been back in the U.S. for the last 7 weeks for fundraising, holidays and family time. I have discovered I miss my life.
Maybe it’s the arrival of Christmas that has me melancholy. I don’t have a Christmas tree, I don’t have a home to decorate, my children don’t have bedroom doors that I can hang their “12 Days of Christmas” gift on each morning, and I don’t have all of my children together.
I miss my life. I miss having my family together. I miss going to the same Christmas parties at church. I miss knowing what radio station to turn on to hear Christmas music. I miss holiday baking. I miss the small group that met in our home every Sunday night. I miss having full conversations in English. I miss my life.
But at the same time, I miss my other life. I miss walking to Spanish school every morning. I miss my teacher’s jubilant cries of “Buenos Dias! Buenos Dias!” I miss the coffee shop across the street from school and the lady who works there. I miss fresh fruit three times a day. I miss the beautiful volcanoes I can see every day. I miss the smells, yes even the bad ones. I miss the warmth of the sun on my face. I miss walking on cobblestone streets. I miss the open market and bargaining for the best price for strawberries. I miss sitting at my kitchen table with the windows open and the sounds of Spanish words floating into my home.
I miss my life. I feel like I’m wandering through two countries, not sure where to call home. I miss feeling planted. I miss the comfort that routine brings. I miss having my family all together, all the time. I feel like I don’t have a life as would be defined by most people.
My life is now chaotic. There isn’t much routine. There isn’t much that could be considered normal. There is no feeling of being settled.
But one thing I am not missing is being where God wants me because I’ve learned that even in the wandering, I am where He has planned. During our time in the U.S. we have had many opportunities to do ministry, to strengthen relationships. We have listened to heartbreaks and we have prayed with friends. We are missionaries regardless of what country we reside.
Soon we will return to Guatemala. And as we settle back in to our life there, I am certain there will be tears as I remember our time here and all the people we hugged and all the love we shared. I am certain I will miss my life. I know I will miss my kids fiercely.
But I will be determined to be content knowing that I am where God wants me. I will be determined to remember the joy that each place has brought and then discover the joy of where I am. I will work on building a life with routine and a feeling of comfort brought in daily tasks. I will be thankful that my life is good, regardless of where I lay my head at night.