Just Passing Through
I recently read an article titled "The International Traveler in the Domestic Terminal" (alifeoverseas.com). I think the piece was meant to be funny, poking a bit of fun at those of us who travel internationally and find themselves in the domestic terminal on their way ‘home’. It wasn’t too far off and I did have a bit of a laugh as I imagined the scene the author painted. As I read, though, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of pain as I realized that I related to it on another level.
I’ve been back in the U.S. for four years now. FOUR YEARS. How can such a small number feel so big? Maybe because it’s been jam-packed with life-changing experiences – an uprooted life from a country going through an economic crisis of massive proportions, new jobs, new church, different culture, marriage, a daughter… the list could actually go on. While these things have each presented unique challenges and difficulties, they’ve also allowed me to grow and change. They’ve come to shape me into the new person I have become. They’ve been like the pressure around the coal that transforms it into something much more beautiful. They’ve also been like a mirror, revealing those things in myself that I don’t much like to look at. These are the things that God uses to transform us into His image if we allow Him to do His work. So, as challenging as they’ve been, I am thankful.
But even with all these unique and special challenges, that’s not why four years have often felt like forty. It’s because I don’t belong here. I’m an international traveler in a domestic terminal. I’m not where I’m supposed to be. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m in this season, ordained by God. And in this sense, yes, I’m in the right spot. But it’s not where I belong. I’m just passing through. There’s a land that’s calling my name and pulling at my heart. It’s where I’m meant to be. It’s a place that gives kisses and hugs and finds meaning in relationships. A place where I can walk freely in my ministry and in my calling. A place where my name means something to someone. A place full of people that I somehow call my own. Latin America. It’s the place where my heart was born. My birth certificate says that I was born in Springfield, Missouri but I know better. I know that my heart was born on the mission field, born in the only place I can call home. It’s the place God birthed me and it’s the place I must return to.
So, I’m waiting now. I’m just passing through, waiting for my return to the people that God has called me to.