17 April, 2017

You must miss your life

"You must miss your life back in Australia."

This is what our family looked like last time we lived for
longer than 12 months in Australia. A lot of water has gone
under the bridge since then!
A Japanese lady said this to me the other day. I had to admit that we really didn't have a life to miss in Australia. We haven't lived there long-term since 2000, we've raised our kids here, and life for us is very much here. We do miss Australia at times and our friends and family there. But not often is that a heart-wrenching longing any more. The reverse is true, however—when we're in Australia we miss our life in Japan!

That might be hard for some people to understand. It seems so, from the questions we're asked when we're in Australia. But I guess the longer you live away from a place the less attached to it you are.

As I glanced through the FB posts of friends yesterday I realised our Easter resembles a Japanese Christian's Easter far more than the Australian Easter I knew as a child. No Easter eggs here, no chocolate (beyond the usual Sunday lunch treat), no long weekend, no Friday morning church service.

That also probably seems weird to you, but somehow it was only vaguely weird to me. Actually I struggled to muster much emotional energy for yesterday's Easter service at church (and the one I with my OMF colleagues on Friday). I think the emotional energy that's gone into dealing with our colleague's sudden change to being terminally ill and the consequential changes in my workload have taken an invisible toll on me over the last two weeks. And now, from tomorrow evening, I'm embarking on the bi-annual marathon of CAJ's Thrift Shop—I'm definitely not doing it on my own strength.

Paul's words come to mind:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (1 Corinthian 12:9-11 NIV)

I'm not sure I'm at the delighting in weakness level yet, but I will certainly boast in my weakness.

So no, I don't miss my life in Australia, I even have trouble imagining what that might look like. For now I'm buried up to my eyeballs in my life in Japan.

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