Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Tearing Away

tear (târ)
v. tore (tôr, tr), torn (tôrn, trn), tear·ing
1. To pull apart or into pieces by force; rend.
2. To separate forcefully; wrench
3. To divide or disrupt

That ache has started.

It's familiar to me now, so it doesn't catch me off guard. And I've gone through it enough times to know that it's temporary; that once we get back to Tanzania and life resumes to normal, that I will feel okay again.

We leave two weeks from tomorrow. It's that season of "lasts" right now. Last visits, last shopping trips, last Taco Bell runs, last times to the park. A season of limbo--that feeling of not belonging anywhere. It's like standing on the precipice between two worlds. It's stressful and anxious and I usually don't sleep very well.

Worse: it's the season of good-byes.

It feels like ripping a band-aid off of soft skin. Gil said to me last night, "I feel like we come here long enough to realize what we're missing, and then we leave again."

There's just no way around it--it's hard.

And though the good bye is not forever, now that we have children, it sort of feels that way. Because a year or two can go by in our lives, and not much changes. But a year or two goes by in the life of my children, and everything changes.

It's loss, really. Not permanent loss, of course--not as tragic as that. But loss of memories. Family vacations and birthdays and Christmases that won't be spent together. Knowing that even with internet and phone calls and cards, an ocean and two continents separate us. And when we come back, those years can't be bought back. Loss.

Of course, I know all those things about why we're going and God's sovereignty and how He brings beauty from ashes. And I believe it. I do not grieve without hope.

But the sadness is there. It will remain a lump in my stomach for the next few weeks. It will get better again, I know that. But that doesn't really lessen the pain right now.

How I long for that Day to come. That last Day, when there will no longer be any good byes.
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