Edges terrify and intrigue me.
Though my mom might have been afraid, she never told me to back away. She’d let me get close and peer over… only calling me back when I truly passed the line of danger. Something about standing on the edge made me feel braver than I actually was. A winding creek in the valley below – it’s roar a whisper from where I stood. The trees singing the song of the wind blowing through. It was a curious view from up so high, and it felt a little as if I’d been let in on some delicious secret by making it to that place and to that view. My bravado grew as I watched pebbles disappear over the edge. But so did my fear.
I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about this today. Maybe because I’m on another edge. It has been a long and difficult climb to the top. And the view from here is sometimes curious and even bizarre. But it is time to go back down. I’m intrigued by what might be down there, but for some reason the pathway we need to follow looks a bit like jumping off the cliff from this point of view.
Over a year of prayer and months of tears and we have decided. We are going home. But my heart does wonder what that really means, because as I sit in my living room on a sunny Sunday morning with my favorite candle burning and my dog sleeping in the windowsill, I do feel in some ways that I’m already there. The irony of this is not lost on me. Many of you have journeyed with me as I’ve bemoaned cabinet heights and dusty villages and absent shower stalls. How did this place start to feel like mine? We came for 3 months and have stayed for 3 years, and we always knew leaving would be harder than coming.
But it is time. The reasons are many… Jacob needs and wants to return to his electrical engineering career. I am transitioning to motherhood and need to make a “clean break” so that can be a priority. We want to be closer to our families. We have watched people stay too long in this place… the rough edges of the culture grower more grating when one stays too long. Bitterness and cynicism replace grace and mercy, and we see more seeds of that in our own hearts now than ever before.
But it is hard. Our community here is a blessing that defies description. I have an opportunity to be involved in work that makes my heart sing. We enjoy a slower-paced life and more time together as a couple. It finally feels like the aftershocks of the earthquake in our lives have subsided, and I’m not ready for another earthquake, though I feel like that’s what’s in store.
The pebbles on the edge are many and I don’t really want them to fall… since each one is connected deeply to my heart, not knowing where they might land makes me feel vulnerable and shaky.
- Jacob has no job to return to, and he has been out of the industry for 3 years. God has provided for us these last three years, but it still seems easier to set up my tent in the land of doubt rather than the land of trust.
- We have no idea where we will make our home. We have had many offers of places to live and stay initially, but my heart wants to know where home will be.
- We are leaving behind an incredible community for the individualistic west, and I know I will feel lonely.
- I am leaving the work that has defined me for a very long season of my life… trading it for diapers and rocking and late nights. I don’t really know who I’m going to be.
Any one of these transitions would be big. And we’re kicking all the pebbles off the cliff at once. I’m terrified and intrigued.
I know that this post might have come as a complete shock to some of you. I’ve wanted to share for a while, but the time hasn’t been right and we’ve been so busy… I realize there are many questions it raises, and I will be writing more about it in the coming weeks. To answer the first question – when? Probably in February sometime. After the baby is born and we have (a little) chance to adjust.