04 May, 2015

The problem isn't struggling with leaving

People have started to ask me if I'm okay, given what I've been writing here recently. Yesterday it was eight weeks until we fly and yes, I'm starting to feel the pressures that come with leaving a place that you've settled in.

I read this article this morning. It is largely about re-entry (i.e. going back to the country you originally came from), but it talks eloquently about leaving.
Our front door in Tokyo. It's hard to
believe we'll be going through it in
just over two months.

Even when such a transition is expected and positive from the outset, loss is loss and there is a very real grief that comes with the changes. You aren’t losing it. You don’t need to just move on and get on with the next phase of your life. 
This makes a lot of sense:
Jesus whispered into my heart, “Beloved, did it ever occur to you that the depth of your pain and sense of loss is simply a reflection of the depth of your love and My heart poured into you for those cared for and served? The problem isn’t struggling with leaving. The problem would have been if you didn’t.”
So I don't apologise for sounding like I'm a bit up and down, that's what life's going to be like for a bit. It's because I've invested myself here with people and it isn't easy to leave. 

Someone asked me which country I'd live in, if work wasn't an issue. I said, "Australia, it's an easier place for me to live." Yes, leaving Australia hurts. I leave behind beloved ones and a place where communication is easier for me. 

What eases the hurt is that I do remember that leaving Japan hurt too. There are people there who miss us when we're gone. I also know that our boys are keen to get back, so that eases the transition too. If they were desperate to stay in Australia that would make it doubly difficult to return.

The third thing that makes it easier to go back is that we're a little tired of talking about what we do there. Our schedule here makes us look like we're very social, but it isn't our preference to be out socialising as much as we have this year. We're looking forward to resting a little from visiting people and churches, and just doing the work God's called us to do (which is actually less social and public than we work we do when we're in Australia).

So, we do need to move on and make this transition, but that doesn't mean we can't feel the emotions that go with it. 

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