Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Preparing for moving...goodbyes...and it's not over yet.

I know it’s been months since I wrote a typical updating post, or wrote a post at all really. But it's been difficult to sit down and focus on it. And most days I don't have the words since our lives have been becoming more and more atypical…and will continue to do so, so be prepared people ;). I just feel this blog post should move further into the territory of where my heart is at. So, here you go.

A week or so ago, I was writing an e-mail to a friend in PNG. In that e-mail I told her that we are at 90% confirmed monthly financial support. And it was looking like we were going to be there by the end of May, early June (which it is looking even sooner now, as we are at 96%)  I stopped and sat there staring at the screen. We have been working so hard, for so long towards this goal. Now that it is actually in sight, the reality of it is a little overwhelming.

Off and on I have dreamed many dreams about us leaving, going-away parties, and arriving in PNG. I guess we haven’t had much time during the day to work through all of the emotions that are happening right now.

Don’t get me wrong. Evan and I are very excited and eager to leave. At the same time, I look at our life here, at the relationships we are leaving behind and it makes me a little sad. We celebrated Julien’s 1st birthday and now we are discussing having a birthday party early for Liam so we can have one for him here. I think about how Julien will be 5 years old and Liam will be 7 before we come to the States again. They will be old enough to view PNG as more their home than the States. Will I be ready to handle that? We have been packing our bags with everything we don’t need to live with here. It is simultaneously gratifying and a little terrifiying to see all those bags stacked up.

All of this induces a sort of hysterical giddiness in me. Sort of like when you survive something traumatic. You come out the other side, pat yourself all over, realize you are okay, and then have this rush of a crazy mix of elation and sadness and (to be honest) a little fear.

These many nights of off and on restless sleep culminated in a night where I woke Evan up at almost midnight because I was having horrible dreams about bad things happening in PNG, including Julien being bitten by a snake (the “what if’s” as Evan calls them). I cried and told him I was scared, that I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be stronger. His reply was that strength has nothing to do with fighting Satan's attacks; what matters is how hard we lean into God. We took our boys into our arms and we prayed. I am so blessed to have a man of God, who leans into Jesus with all his might, as the head of our family.  We lay in bed afterwards and Evan said the irony is that when Satan pushes us, it just makes us cling to God even more. And then we talked and laughed about other things, about how I sounded like a child speaking Tok Pisin. And he told me about a young man the nationals all loved because he was willing to dive in, make mistakes, (and he made some doozies – saying he was going inside the toilet instead of going to the toilet.) and learn the correct way. I fell asleep with peace in my heart. The next day we had a church meeting that went quite well (I think in part that was why I was having trouble in the night).

We are looking at purchasing a home in Ukarumpa, though we won’t be committing to anything before POC training probably, we have been given the opportunity to live in a house we are considering to see how we like it between when we arrive at Ukarumpa and our training in August. Buying a house will mean a layout of cash that we will have to save, but it will also mean not having to rent. Renting in Ukarumpa means moving potentially every few months, depending on when people are leaving on furlough and what houses are available. A stable place for our kids to call home is one of the most important things for missionary kids to have.  We are really praying for the right decision and the finances to come in God’s time regarding this matter.

In the meantime we are working on raising the last 4% (about $190) and saying goodbye. We have gotten a couple of words from folks in the last few weeks, about not worrying and knowing that when we leave, it’s okay if we feel we haven’t had time to say goodbye and don't feel totally ready. We will get there in the right time and it will work out. Knowing that I will have the support of people here and fellow missionaries on the field makes it easier for me to take this in. To end this post, I will leave you with some fun pictures because the boys are always on my heart.
In honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday, Liam got a special hat from the pastor, but promptly wanted it made into a "helmet"

Sledding in...March?

Sons of the soil

Helping dad pack up the last container to ship to PNG

At the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museums. This plane actually flew!

At the Portland Zoo, Liam was being a bit of a mountain goat himself, wanting to be on the very top of the statue. "Riding baby goat"

At the zoo having fun with river otters