Thursday, July 28, 2016

Torn Hearts

For some of our friends, we’re leaving Costa Rica. For other friends and family, we’re returning to the United States. For us, we’re doing both. And there are emotions connected to each. There are many who assume we must be excited to be returning home to the U.S. And while we are excited to return to the U.S., “home” is a pretty fluid concept for us right now. Why? Because before we can arrive “home” to the U.S., we must leave “home” from Costa Rica. We want to be excited and celebrate our return “home” with friends and family in the U.S., but we’re not there yet. We need to process through the stages of grief that comes with leaving people and a place that we love. Our heart is torn.

When we left the U.S. for Costa Rica in January 2014, there were so many unknowns. We probably had more questions and uncertainties than expectations. But as August 2016 fast approaches, we are preparing to leave a place we know well and love deeply. We came here not knowing anyone from here. We prepare to leave so many friends and kids, who are like our own kids at times, behind. This transition back to the U.S. is nothing like our transition to Costa Rica. There is no real comparison to be made. We know what we’re returning to. While we will face reverse culture shock, we have a strong base of family and friends already in the U.S. It’s just not the same.

It would be one thing if we were preparing to return to Costa Rica. This moment would be more of a “See you soon.” But this is a real, genuine goodbye. Nobody really knows what the future holds. But while we may have a chance to visit Costa Rica in the foreseeable future, there are no plans to live here again in the foreseeable future. So we are in fact saying goodbye to this place as our home. This will take processing.

So for those in the U.S. who may be excited for us to be home for a year or so before we make a new transition to Bolivia, please be patient with us and extend to us grace and mercy if we don’t quite seem so excited in the moment. Please understand that we will be excited to see you and reconnect. Please just also understand that we still need to grieve a significant “loss” as we leave so much we love behind. I believe in the notion that it’s better to meet people and have to leave them behind than to have never met them at all. But I also believe that it can be hard in the moment of the goodbye. Please be sensitive and give us that opportunity.

Please don’t misunderstand this post. We’re not depressed or angry or frustrated. We’re not upset about our upcoming transitions and what God has in store for us. We’re in a good place. We view grieving as healthy. We just want to respect the process with no regrets. Thank you for caring enough to read this post. We covet your prayers. We love you. Blessings!