I know I should have posted sooner. I write best when I am alone with my thoughts and without interruption. Sadly, I've had very little of that lately.
So, it's a new year and we are "home" in the States. I use the quotes because we are, in fact, homeless to a certain extent. We are living like gypsies traveling from home to home living out of our suitcases and painfully aware that we may outstay our welcome at any moment. Don't get me wrong. We have been welcomed with open arms and are unspeakably grateful for the shelter and support offered by our family. But I crave the ability to leave my towel on the floor in the bathroom or to get out of bed without having to navigate around a complicated maze of suitcases and boxes or maybe just to have a moment to myself. I have to say we have withstood this last month remarkably well with very few arguments and only small frustrations despite being on top of eachother at all times. I don't mean to whine. So many have it far worse than us. Therefore, I will have to consider myself lucky to have these two whom I adore to share this strange time with.
As expected at this late time of year, we've had trouble finding jobs immediately. So, we've traveled a lot and visited both sides of the family. We received a small respite in Fort Smith when Mom kindly got us a hotel room and allowed us to have space of our own for a precious few days. Even though we still had to share the room with eachother, I relished being able to watch the television and leave the bed unmade. We enjoyed the holidays as usual, but to me they seemed to pass in a sort of dream-like state. While my mind is adequately preoccupied with our current situation, it is the loss of El Sembrador that keeps me awake at night. I say "loss" because that's how it feels...like a death that I am still grieving. I miss our kids wonder about them almost constantly. At times, I have even finished my evening prayers without even mentioning our lack of job or money because I am so absorbed in prayer for our missionary family and friends. I long to be with them every time I get one of their update e-mails or am reminded of a time we were together. So it is in this state of mind that I celebrated Christmas...elated to be with my family, but devastated to be so far from where my heart is.
Thankfully, this melancholy has managed to stave off the panic and frustration that would normally permeate every fiber of my being had I been a similar desperate financial situation a year ago. I can't decide if I've actually managed to give it to God or if I'm just in some strange honeymoon period and it hasn't quite sunk in yet. Certainly, I have prayed to be without worry. But I can't remember it ever really working like this before. Of course, I am planning and scheming to solve the current situation on my own. But it isn't the desperate, panic-stricken obsession that I would expect of myself. And more often than not I am able to remind myself that God is in control and can easily turn my mind to other, more positive things. More than once things have not quite worked out how I would have wanted, but somehow I have managed to adjust and look ahead with very little despair. I can't really explain how this has surprised me. It's like I know I should be boiling over with hysteria, but I'm astonished to find myself in a bubble of tranquility. I don't mean to say I haven't had a few moments when I have wanted to burst in tears. I just have handled those moments much better than I could have ever imagined for myself. Even the moment when we were 500 miles from anyone we knew and found ourselves $530 overdrawn and without a dime for gasoline on a Sunday afternoon didn't send me reeling into hopelessness. We simply borrowed from CT for our fast-food lunch and then calmly searched for a grocery store that would cash a check that PK had forgotten to deposit so we could go on our way. Christmas cash covered our deficit and we were able to make a deposit into our account the following Monday. As time goes on, I wonder if I will find myself back to my frenzied self, desperate to be in control of our situation. For now, I am praying that the Lord will sustain my peaceful bubble for just a little while longer.