I’ve been everywhere, man.

In the past three months…

I traveled back and forth between Taiwan and the United States–a total distance of approximately 24,000 miles–all by myself.

I went “home” to a different state, a different church, and a different (temporary) house.  I am now officially a New York(state)er.

I visited family and friends in 5 different states and 11 different towns or cities all in about three week’s time.  I also realized how blessed I am to still have dear friends from college, from teaching jobs, from churches, from other miscellaneous stops in life, and in my family with whom I can reconnect as if no time has passed.

I sang in a dear friend’s wedding.  We worked in Lexington together, she moved to Scotland, I moved to Taiwan, and by the grace of God, I was able to share her very special day in little ol’ Wilmore, Kentucky.

I put over 2,500 miles on my 2004 Toyota Corolla…okay, it’s not actually mine anymore, so thanks for letting me borrow it, Mom and Dad!

I boogied with my mom at a wedding reception–a first in my life.

I enjoyed a fishing trip with both of my parents, baited my own hooks, and caught the biggest fish–also all firsts.

I said “goodbye” to my uncle for the last time.  Rest in peace, Uncle Dootsie.

I finished teaching 6th grade language arts and started teaching 7th grade Bible.  The constant is that I’m always teaching ELL.

I watched three precious ones from His Hands Taiwan be joyously united with their forever families.  That also means I had to say goodbye…

I celebrated one grandmother’s 88th birthday, and I had a great time hanging out with both of my grandmothers.  I love you, Nan and Nannie.

I came back to my puppy, Emi, after a summer away and realized that I really do like her company now.  :)

I mourned the loss of dear friends who left Taiwan, and I met new friends who will be with me throughout the next couple of years.  I’m praying that I will be able to open my heart fully again.

I experienced my first non-catastrophic typhoon in Taiwan.  Praise the Lord!

I read 8 books, all just for fun.

I wondered about God’s plans for me and tried to trust that He knows best.

I bought out Walmart (or so it seemed) in preparation for my return to Taiwan.  I also marveled at the mysterious longevity of Hello Kitty ALL AROUND THE WORLD…

I missed my sisters who stayed in Taiwan, I missed my parents who stayed in the States…basically everywhere I went, I missed someone but got to see someone else.

I met babies, babies, babies of many friends and family members; what a joy!

In the past three months, I’ve been joyful and I’ve grieved.  I’ve been in the East and in the West.  I’ve been lonely and I’ve been surrounded by loved ones.  I’ve said “hellos” and “goodbyes.”  I’ve witnessed life and death.  I’ve listened and I’ve spoken.  I’ve ended and begun anew.  I’ve loved and been loved.  I’ve been in valleys and on mountaintops.  In short, I’ve been everywhere, man.

4 thoughts on “I’ve been everywhere, man.

  1. Quite a different experience, yes? I’ve decided that home is where I am right now. Home is here, maybe for now, maybe long term but God show me what You want me to learn here with these people now. Rejoice in the present!

    Bill Britton

    1. Yep. There’s so much transition that happens when you follow God wherever he leads, especially when He leads you overseas or into ministry (or both!). It’s comforting to remember that our permanent home is heaven and also that we can find security in Christ wherever we are. BTW, I’ve been praying for you and your school. God is moving there.

  2. amen! i loved this post, christel… just slices of life. and i can relate much too, since my summer was so similar…but opposite (you went west, i went east!). what grace from God that we have a new breath every morning to keep living, to rejoice in the good & beautiful, to mourn and battle the bad & ugly. sojourners, on our way to our forever home. :)

    1. Thanks, Carmen. I know that you understand the feelings that arise from living halfway around the world from people you love. For the record, I’m still sad that we didn’t meet in the middle in our travels back and forth between the U.S. and Taiwan!

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