Friday, July 18, 2014

Diary of an International Transition: Countdown 2 Days

 My poor little lonely key chain.

You don't really think about how keys ground you in a sense of belonging until you don't have them anymore.  You have house keys and car keys that give you a sense of place and permanence, and work keys that give you an identity.  

When I move overseas, I lose all my keys.  They come off one by one until I feel homeless and weightless and identity-less.  

It's not as hard this time, since we have a house and a car waiting for us--that's never happened before.  But as I looked at my empty key chain this afternoon, I couldn't help but feel....loss.  And an uncomfortable sense that I don't belong anywhere.

So when the walls come falling down on me
And when I'm lost in the current of a raging sea
I have this blessed assurance holding me

All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

And this is the song that keeps going through my head.

I will have keys again soon, but may I not forget where I really belong.

Today.  The day before departure day.  What happened today?

Laundry.  Errands.  Picking up last minute prescriptions, taking back a couple things that just didn't fit in the luggage, buying vitamins for a Tanzanian friend who I just found out is pregnant.  

Printing e-tickets.  Calling banks and credit cards to tell them we are traveling, so they won't flip out and put holds on all our accounts.  

Stuffing, stuffing, stuffing more things in the tubs.  Weighing them again to make sure they are exactly 49.5 pounds each.  Drilling holes around the edges so that we can seal them with zip ties.  Labeling all of them with addresses.  

Gil did one last Chuck E. Cheese run for our poor beleaguered kids who are struggling with the good-byes and seeing all their toys disappear and all the chaos around them.  Josiah couldn't make himself eat his ice cream tonight.  That's when you know my little buddy is having a hard time.  

Grace wrote this in my planner a couple of months ago, as soon as we bought tickets.

Tomorrow is the day.  We leave for San Francisco at 1:00, and our plane leaves around 5:00.  Sixteen hours non-stop to Dubai (in the middle east), a 15 hour layover, and then 5 more hours to 
Dar es Salaam, 
East Africa.
The other side of the world.  

I will try to blog from the airport tomorrow, and maybe from Dubai.  Otherwise, you'll hear from me on the other side of the world.

Leaving one home for another, but ultimately, neither is where I really belong.  Just give me Jesus.

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