This past week I spent time in my ethnic country of origin, Germany. Apparently for me, going back to my ethnic roots brought out a completely different set of roots.
This past week I found myself surrounded by many other missionaries who serve in European countries with Avant. Singles, couples, families. Missionaries on the field and missionaries who serve at the home office. I was completely surrounded by others who have heard the same call as me, to go into the nations and tell people about Jesus. I was surrounded and found myself nearly crippled at times by how overwhelmed I felt.
I have changed. In like big ways. BIG ways.
It has nothing to do with my occupation. In the past year I have changed as a person. I had noticed some small changes but this past week the many big changes appeared like a Las Vegas billboard!
Africa has changed me. I have become much more introverted than I ever though humanly possible. Where the old me would have craved talking late into the night and going on every outing offered, I willingly sought out time to be alone and smaller groups of people to be around. Large groups didn't use to bother me. Now, well now they just annoy me.
I also nearly cried at the sight of cherries, pears, and oranges that were actually orange. I also nearly had a panic attack standing in line for lunch, discovering I was going to have many options of what to eat and they all had cheese. This once upon a time super decision maker is no more.
Among the changes I discovered I also allowed a reality to sink into my soul. Losing my Mom has changed me. I knew it but now I really know it. When Mom died I lost a part of my heart. In this realization, I allowed my heart to go deeper into another layer of the pain. I desperately miss my Mom and I desperately want her back. A fierce love for my Mom was unearthed in my heart and I uncovered a longing to have the opportunity to love her again here on earth.
One afternoon I decided to go for a walk. The sky threatened rain but I didn't care, I just wanted out. As I began to walk I felt my heart begin shifting within me. I could feel the emotions beginning to well up and I knew I had some stuff I needed to get out. So I walked and I talked, out loud. I began to let words form and be spoken aloud. I finally felt the freedom to say things I had felt for many months but was afraid to say. I finally spoke out what was eating away at me. I told God how I felt.
I told Him how I felt about Mom dying, about my move to Africa, about my fears and my dreams and how they are getting all tangled up and threatening to strangle me.
I spoke out loud what God already knew was in my heart.
As I walked on the path, I could not see where it was heading. I was not certain of where it was taking me or what was waiting for me that the end. Believe me, the symbolism was not lost on me. My current walking path through the trees very closely resembled the current state of my heart and life. Walking but having no idea where I am going.
As I approached the end of the trees, through blurry tear filled eyes I saw this...
This sight nearly brought me to my knees. The tears became a river instead of a stream. In this moment I knew God was listening to me.
My Mom would have loved this sight. She loved these kinds of windmills. She thought they were cool and creepy si-fi all at the same time. In this moment I felt her memory wrapped around my heart and God whisper into my soul that her knew how much it hurts that she's gone.