I’m realizing it oh-so-slowly.
It’s taking a variety of situations to sink in.
But I’m learning that we’ll be returning to a different place when we go back. A different place full of different people.
Life keeps happening without us there. Of course we know this, but seeing it happen is very, very different than I could ever describe.
Consider family: the family I knew as a child is very different from the family I’m a part of now. We’ve been changing and growing and moving around and letting life happen slowly over many years. And sometimes, when I realize it won’t ever go back to just mom and dad and four girls piled into a blue minivan on a very long drive through the midwest, it’s a little sad. But the growth was good. The place we’re at now is good. And so you celebrate it as movement.
[Movement: that’s the best word I have for it right now.]
But not being there is different. The movement continues, but you’re not there to appreciate it; it’s simply missed. And you return to a new place, new people, new growth; a completely foreign place.
Sometimes in my conversations with people I can see the changes. Being in a completely different place with a completely different life changes me and thus changes our relationship. I can sit around talking with the closest friend or my dearest sister, but I can see: her life has continued, my life has continued. She has changed, I have changed. And now, we’re in a new place as new people that have missed a part of the others’ life.
Fast forward that about two years.
Every time I think about it, it overwhelms me. Like a sick feeling in your stomach. The only other thing I can think of that gave me this feeling was the thought of eternity when I was a kid. I actually used to do everything I could to not think about eternity; it freaked me out that there is no end. It would make my controlling brains explode to think of time never having a beginning or completion.
In that arena, I’ve moved on. I’ve learned to trust that God is much bigger than me and it doesn’t matter if I don’t get it. I’m here for now, I’m hoping for something greater, and I’ll be there forever. And somehow that’s enough truth to rest on.
And I guess that’s what’s missing from the current equation of missing out on the life that continues in America and the new places and people being created. I don’t trust it. What if I don’t like the new changes? What if I don’t fit into them? My controlling brain explodes at the idea that I simply can’t be [wholeheartedly] a part of both.
Yep. Same feeling in my stomach as when I was five.
And though I can’t yet grasp in my heart, I know the answer is the same: that God is much bigger than me and it doesn’t matter if I don’t get it. I’m here for now, I’m hoping for something greater, and I’ll be there forever. And somehow, that will be enough truth to rest on.