I am torn.
We spent a few days at the beach attending a debrief conference for people from our company who have returned from overseas stints. It was all a bit theoretical for us because we haven’t landed in our “planting” spot yet where we’ll have to try to figure out where to buy food and make friends and tame our wild yard.
But not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to hear from God, I tried to pay attention to my heart. As I did I realized I was feeling a new feeling about the whole transition: guilt.
That surprised me, until we had a session on grief and loss and they reminded me that it is one of the stages of grief. But still, guilt? I didn’t see that coming. I’m more of a denial or anger stage kind of girl myself.
Why do I feel guilty? Well, I’ll tell you. I feel guilty because I think the US is awesome. I can plug my computer in to ANY outlet in the house. That’s big, people. No hunting down an adapter these days. The shower has consistent water pressure and temperature. Have you ever thought about what a gift that is? I do, every day.
And where we’re going to live is practically tropical! I’ve done tropical before and it’s not shabby. Sure, it gets hot and humid but who cares when you have a pool? And . . . and . . . and . . . I could go on and on.
Why feel guilty about that? I feel guilty because I know that my friends who I left don’t have a lot of these things. Why do I get to have them? More than that, several of them are going through difficult things and I am not there to walk through those things with them, and I hate that. I’m here enjoying sunshine and raspberry m&m;’s. There’s a strange feeling as though I have abandoned them, betrayed them even, by leaving. I remind myself that this is where God has led us, and that He has kept them there, but I feel guilty all the same.
Hey – no one ever said feelings were rational. But there they are.
So I am torn. Torn between wanting to enjoy these beautiful gifts God is giving us, hopes of good things in this new life, and the separation I feel from my friends who do not have what I have, who in fact have difficult things. Torn between loving the family and friends we have here and those we have left behind. It’s one of the by-products of moving people don’t always mention – the fact that you don’t get to keep all your heart with you as you go. Parts will be left in each place, and it’s possible for one part to feel something while another part experiences something completely different.
Will it ever be put back together? Probably not. But I choose to see it not as fragmented but as stretched to a greater capacity. Yeah, I’m going to call it that – not torn, but stretched.