Saturday, August 9, 2014

Muscle Memory

It's the same, but not the same.

In many ways, nothing has changed.  My brain has made the switch to Tanzania.  Habits and routines that I completely forgot about have come back to me.  A few weeks ago, I couldn't even fathom living in Tanzania again.  Now, it is effortless.  Well, as much as living in a third-world country can be effortless.

It's like muscle memory, my friend Alyssa said to me.

Yes.  I know what to do here.  And it helps that I am in the same house in the same neighborhood in the same city.


Everything has changed.

I am still living less than half a mile away from HOPAC.  My children will be attending there in less than two weeks.

But it is not my life anymore.

My muscle memory sees the new teachers arriving and I start thinking about when I should have them over.  By instinct, I start making plans for the new school year.  Shouldn't we be creating the theme for the year right now?  Shouldn't we be getting Gil's classroom ready?  Shouldn't we be attending the in-services?

But no.  No, I tell myself.  That is not your life anymore.

Oh, I will still be around.  I'm going to be on the board and I will join the parent association and I will volunteer in my kids' classes.

But I will be a parent.  Not a staff member.  Not involved in the intricate details.  It won't be my life.

And that's hard for me; hard to give it up because it was my life for 10 years.  And I loved that life.  And I love that school.

Truthfully, I'm excited about my new life, too.  Instead of reading books and discussing Christian school culture, Gil and I are reading books and discussing Tanzanian culture.  Soon, he will be setting up a new office and preparing a new classroom in a completely different kind of school.  It's a complete shift in mindset.  My daily routines will look very different from before.

But I don't have muscle memory for it.  It feels awkward and uncomfortable and new and I have no idea what I am doing.

I think back to those first years at HOPAC when I felt the same way.  So I know that the same thing will happen this time around, that my new life and ministry will settle in and become the new normal.

And in this period of in between, I will remind myself that He is good and faithful and He has called us to this new thing.  And that He delights in weakness because He is strong.  This--these truths--have become the real muscle memory for me.  They will not change.

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