On Leaving Family

This was posted on my previous blog on August 28,2015


As I was walking home from the Spanish Institute a half hour ago I was reflecting on the feelings of loneliness I’ve been experiencing. These feelings weren’t unexpected or unfamiliar. They’re also not always intense. Yet they’re often there. I’m not a TCK (third culture kid) and will never know what it’s like to be one, but I understand the feeling of not belonging. I have a colorful childhood and while I can explain that to close friends, they still don’t understand what it’s really like to have lived through it. For those close friends who do understand what it’s like to come from a broken family, not many of them can relate to the restoration of relationships Christ has brought about through the years.

Still even less are able to relate to the tragic loss of a loved one at a young age. The more I began to think about being alone, the more I realized the most known I have ever felt among other people was when I was with my family. While they may not be able to understand the cross-cultural experiences I’ve had over the past four years, they’ve been with me through the most challenging things.

They know me.

They get me.

They understand me.

They accept me.

& I have left them.

I am certain that God has called me to this mission team and to Peru. I am filled with joy being here in Costa Rica right now with my teammates and being around my hermanos in the church here once again. If I could go back to when I made all of the decisions that led to this moment with his team for this purpose, I would choose the same path without wavering. Yet this path is the hardest one I could’ve chosen, and it’s because of my family. My family means more to me than almost everything in this world. So yes, leaving them is hard. But it’s not leaving them that is the hard part. It’s knowing that this is the first major life event that they are not able to share with me that is heartbreaking. I can tell them what it’s like and they’ll get glimpses when they visit, but they won’t be able to fully understand. Just like I won’t be able to fully understand what they’re going to go through back home.

I’m thankful for our God who vows we will never be alone. I’m thankful for having a family so wonderful that I can’t help but grief the loss of their nearness. I’m thankful for the wise men and women who have tried to prepare me for this moment. I am thankful for the pastor who last left me with these encouraging words: “Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.'” Mark 10:29-30

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