Well, actually, I expected to serve a year here and then return to my "normal" old life in my college town & my husband's hometown.
I did not expect to put roots down.
I did not expect to realize that my only current home is Costa Rica.
I did not expect to realize that our next step may not be to our old home.
I did not expect to be so sad leaving Costa Rica (because I didn't think that far ahead).
But we did put roots down and our apartment in Costa Rica did become home to us. My logical side knows that the US will be home again, but right now, I feel like I'm leaving our home for the unknown, instead of coming back home.
We did come to realize that as we have changed & grown in Costa Rica, we may not be called back to the life we left.
In a month, we're not just leaving the mission field, but rather, we're leaving our home, our new church family, our new friends, & the work we've been doing for the past year. It is hard & painful to say goodbye, knowing that with most our of friends & co-workers, we may not see them again in person on this side of heaven.
Being uprooted isn't easy, but sometimes God uproots and replants us, so we can grow.
I know many of our friends & family in the States view our return as a homecoming, but for me, it's a home-leaving.
The (23) Hardest Things About Moving Home After Living Abroad is an excellent article about the process of moving "home" after living abroad & what is difficult about this process.
What I'm Asking of Friends & Family:Please be patient with us as we feel lost & out of our depth as we readjust to life in the States.
Please give us time to adjust. We've grown and changed in our year in Costa Rica, but it's also overwhelming to think of the changes we will face in the US. I know that I will be startled by the gradual changes in old hometowns that are suddenly sprung on me.
Please remember that we aren't used to large quantities of processed foods. Liz-the-idealist wants to limit our eating out to only 1-2 times a month to slowly ease our digestive system back into American food. We'd love to share about our time in Costa Rica over coffee (or tea) or a meal in your house. But when we've eaten meals centered around beans, rice, chicken, fresh fruit & fresh veggies for 9 months since we were last in the States, we can't eat out often or we will get sick.
Please allow us to share about our time in Costa Rica. Virtually every memory we have from the past year is set in Costa Rica or related to Costa Rica. It will be all we can talk about for a while, but that's because it's been our life for the past year.
Please understand that I'm nervous to drive. I haven't driven in 9 months. I've walked to the store. I've taken taxis. I've rode the bus. But I'm out of practice driving & it's scary.
Please keep praying for us. This will be a difficult readjustment because we have pulled up the roots we have put down in Costa Rica. Please pray for understanding & patience in those we meet. Please pray for calm stomachs & wisdom in choosing what to eat. Please pray for guidance for the future.