One of the things about traveling so much is getting to see so many people. So many friends, old and new. So many cousins. So many sisters. So many aunts, uncles, grandparents and brothers. That makes for a lot of hellos. There are many "do you remember (so and so)" and "this is (name)" and we all have done amazingly well. The kids have done amazingly well. In order to have many hellos, we have had to go to new places. Whenever we go to a new place, we leave somewhere else. That makes for a lot of goodbyes. For the most part we have handled these too. Ty said that in Hungary, they say "szia" (think see ya for how to pronounce it). This means hello and goodbye. Quite honestly we feel like we've been only saying "See ya" for months. This weekend though we hit a bit of a breaking point. After 3 months straight of travel (and 10 months of the last 18 being spent doing the same), we hit our quota of goodbyes. And hellos. We wanted to go home. J wanted to go home and I did as well.
As we began to unpack what going home would mean-the reality of it, a beautiful conversation happened. We reminded ourselves that there are many benefits of "home" (which we were talking about our house we rent in Georgia that has our earthly possessions in it). We also began to talk about the things that are not there which we really miss when we are home. It was an opportunity to explain in a very tangible 6 year old way what New Testament writers meant when they talked about the earth not being our home. Our family understands being strangers in a foreign land, a place not familiar with different geography, food, language, culture and far from friends and family. We understand the longing that happens for the familiar and yet as the new place becomes home, we always miss what we've left. We are never fully at home wherever we are. What was a hard day turned into a hopeful day. We have hope of one day being home forever, with our creator and life giver, Jesus. We will live in perfect community in a world far more beautiful and amazing than this one (even than the Pacific Northwest-as I had to remind myself!) We will be with all our "family" of others who have chosen to follow Jesus. That will pale in comparison to our joy of being with Jesus. We will live the way God intended the world to be from the beginning. At that point there will be no more "See ya" or "szia" or any other form of hello or goodbye. I long for that day in a whole new way from our journeys the last couple years. Hopefully, my kids long for that day a little more too now.
Carolyn & (sometimes) Ty