I wake up around 9am. It’s Thursday, July 4th, and I am home in my bed in Ohio.
A year has passed since my family and I spent our first holiday away from the normal of family surrounding us, cooking out with friends, watching fireworks, grilling hot dogs, eating watermelon and red-white-and-blue Jell-o molds.
It was on a Wednesday last year. My husband had to work. Because, strangely enough, Germans don’t call the 4th of July a holiday. They just treat it like any other day.
I felt a bit lost last year in the newness of that strange-to-us place, celebrating the birthday of my homeland from the other side of the ocean.
But that pushed me into a plan. We made the most of our Americanness and celebrated with paper-made fireworks displays and a parade in our tiny German living room.
Somehow, though, I feel lost this year too. Even though I am now safely Stateside. And the 4th of July has now passed in all its glory. Fireworks, friends, bbq’s and all.
It’s not that I don’t want to be here. I do.
I am so happy to be home. Continually amazed at the growth I’ve been able to see in both of my kids. Deep-in-my-heart encouraged by the mere gathering I get to do with other Jesus-followers now on a weekly basis. Sleeping on my own long-lost pillow in my very comfy king-sized bed.
I do want to be here. Right here at home.
But something is amiss. I can’t seem to find my footing. Can’t grab hold of the comfort and relief I thought I would feel the minute we stepped back into our home. Or at least by now, a whole month later.
We go shopping for a few things, and it hits me just how grumpy I am. How unsettled I still feel.
And I realize I am angry.
Angry at myself for taking so long to re-enter life here.
I try to figure the depth of the issues. The anger. The grumpy. I can think of only one solution.
The one I am fairly sure will not bring instant relief.
I go back to this morning, and every one of the last 71 mornings, when I laid on my face and begged God to help me remember He’s Who is in charge. Plead with Him to help me trust His ways again today. Tell Him again I will follow if He will lead.
It’s become more than habit for me. More than just discipline.
Laying myself out before the God of my life has become my foundation.
The only piece of Rock my feet can seem to find. The only solid piece of anything from which I can find enough balance to even sort of stand up in this midst of the unexpected wobbling caused by this whole re-entry thing.
It sometimes feels like the only place that hasn’t changed since walking back into life over here is the laying on my face, wholeheartedly confessing my absolute need for God to walk me through the day that awaits me on other side of my bedroom door.
So many of you ask “Are you all settled in?” I love seeing you. And chatting. And hugging you.
I want to say “yes! We are so glad to be back. I so badly want to tell you how our lives are changed forever. I want to invite you over to my completely settled home, free of all the clutter we threw out after our year of not needing any of it.
But the truth – oh the truth — holds me back.
Because I am nowhere near being settled. My heart is stuck somewhere between Bayreuth, Germany and Northeast Ohio. Iceland, perhaps?
And I feel like a total Drama Queen for it.
Because, really, isn’t a year long enough? Isn’t twelve months an ample amount of time for unsettled and moving and figuring out how to be and who to be? Honestly, nobody wants to hear more drama.
Not even me.
So here is where I tell you how dear you are to me. And I ask you for even more grace than you all have already given as I figure out how to be me, all changed and upgraded by the uncomfortable and awesome or our year abroad.
In the meantime, I will keep waiting for the God of all I am and all I know to show up and point me in the way I should go.