Oct 12, 2012


"I am sure that God who began the good work in you will keep on working in you until the day Jesus Christ comes again." Philippians 1:6 (New Life Version)

I've started and stopped a couple posts since school started 3 weeks ago. I feel like much and little has happened since last posting, and my thoughts have been many and scattered. They still are. Perhaps that is why now is a good time to write.

Right now it's raining: the first time it's really rained since I came back to Walla Walla. I'm really excited by the thought of falling asleep to the sound of rain. But one thing has kept me from dozing off on this peaceful Sabbath evening, something little but significant. You see, I'm giving a talk tomorrow during Walla Walla's Student Missionary Re-Entry Retreat. I'm just supposed to speak for ten or fifteen minutes about the transition process, speaking as the supposedly successfully transitioned missionary that I am.

So what am I telling these newly returned missionaries? Be present. Let yourself feel and think what you need to feel and think when you need to feel and think it. Not what others seem to be feeling and thinking. Not when others seem to be feeling and thinking it: your SM experience was unique, and so your transition experience will also be unique. Engage in your story and let yourself be changed by what you experienced. You are still the teacher, still the Bible worker, still the orphanage attendant. You don't lose your gifts and passions and stories when you change environment. There ARE people who want to hear your story, want to support you, want to help you navigate the rough stuff whenever you need to navigate it.

I think these thoughts are just as much for me as they are for my audience. So have I successfully transitioned back into America? I think so. But I also think I'm continuously transitioning, in a way, in perhaps a multitude of areas, as I learn and grow and experience the new. And I think I'll hold onto these pieces of advice as I ever continue the process.

Yes, I think that's exactly what I want to do.