Exactly four weeks ago tomorrow, Dan and I, along with Patrick and Oliver, boarded a plane out of Quito for the last time. We had made the decision in June to return to the US permanently, for a variety of reasons. Although we knew it was the right decision, it was not made lightly and it still hurt.
We made the decision to locate ourselves in Indianapolis, to be near our grown children. We have a lovely house here, and thanks to the generosity of so many people, it is fully furnished with lovely furniture. I have collected a lot of things that belonged to my grandmother, and having things around me that I grew up with is comforting, in the way that wrapping up in a warm blanket on a cold evening is comforting.
I wish I could tell you that we are settled. That we feel right at home. That we have adjusted and gotten ourselves into this new life without a hitch. I wish I could.
The reality is that right now, I feel like I’ve been picked up and dropped into someone else’s life, and I have no idea how to live it. I find myself in a muddle over the oddest things. Things that I used to do without thinking twice now require me to actually talk myself through them. Something as simple as getting in the car and going somewhere by myself is overwhelming. In Quito, I didn’t drive very much. The traffic was horrible and it made me so nervous that I just gave it up. Dan was usually available to take me where I needed to go, and if he wasn’t someone else was. Here, I can go anywhere I want to, theoretically. Except that I can’t. I’ve gone to Hobby Lobby once and to the grocery store once, but that’s it. I just can’t navigate getting in the car and going anywhere by myself. Dan has been incredibly patient with me, but I know he is ready for his wife to get some of her independence back.
Going to church has been hard. Not because of the church–we actually really like the pastor and are enjoying the sermon series…but it’s not “our” church. “Our” pastor isn’t there. “Our” people aren’t there. I am glad, however, that Our God is there!
Shopping is always an adventure. I have to keep reminding myself that Target will have what I need (most likely in several different colors), they will have enough of it, and they will have it next week, or next month, so I don’t need to buy 12 of it. I can’t be in a store for very long (other than Hobby Lobby–it’s my happy place and I could live there) without getting very nervous and overwhelmed. And going in without a list is just not wise. The other day I needed dog food, milk and cooking spray. I came home with three different kinds of candy corn (which I don’t even like, but after 12 years of not being able to buy it, that was irrelevant. And they had it in different flavors.), ice cream and tots. No cooking spray and no dog food. Fortunately the dogs like candy corn. 😛 I think I only remembered the milk because I walked past it to get to the candy corn.
I have had to deal with setting up utility accounts in our name, getting our drivers licenses changed, figuring out how to get someone to pick up our trash…and yes, I know I am saying “I” a lot. The reality is that Dan and I are processing this very differently.
I wish I could tell you that we’ve been the poster children for how to do this and not have it affect our marriage and our home life. The reality is that we are both a little snappy (OK, he’s a little–I’m a lot), and life here at our house still doesn’t feel “right”. Every morning I wake up and for a moment, wonder where I am. I still look at things in the store and think “I wonder if I can get that home”…then I remember that all I have to do is put it in the back of the car and take it there–no planes or luggage restrictions involved.
When we moved to Ecuador, we had a purpose. It was exciting and new, and we were down there to do something for the Lord. I know that somewhere in this move is a purpose, and that the Lord still has work for us to do…but right now I can’t find it. I feel like a little kid lost in a crowd…looking around for my parents and just seeing people all around me that I don’t know.
What I wish I could tell you is that I’ve got this.
I wish I could.