Thursday, May 12, 2016

Caught Between

I can feel it in my throat. It gets stuck right there. I try to swallow it back, but it is difficult. I feel it in my heart.

It aches.

And yet it is mingled with smiles and joy.  I want to laugh, and I want to cry. I am not sure why I am telling you all this. Maybe I need a hug or a word of encouragement. Maybe I am telling you this because I need you to tell me this is normal.

Or maybe I am telling you this because deep down inside there is a longing...

          An intense desire to help you understand what it is like...

                    To be caught between two worlds.

In a few short days, we will say our goodbyes. Many people call it saying "see you later," but it sure hurts like a goodbye. There is no guarantee of seeing them again this side of Heaven.

I will look into their eyes, and my eyes will begin to water. They will sting as I try to hold it back. It will hurt to breathe. I will take a deep, labored breath, and turn and walk away to board a plane.

To you, they are just a picture. But to me?

A name.

A face.

Memories flood in my mind, and, even now, the tears threaten to roll down my cheeks.

We have wept together...

          Rejoiced together...

                    Struggled together...

                              Labored side by side.

I hear their voices in my mind. I can hear their laughter.

They are my people, my friends...

We will leave, and my heart will be torn in two.

But only a couple of days after that... after the tears are finished, and I have dried my eyes...

There will be "hellos."

There will be laughter and joy.

A sweet reunion.

I will hug her... the tenderness of her arms wrapped around me... I will hear her voice in person. I will smell her perfume and the scent of her hair. Her beautiful, soft, glowing red hair.

More tears will flow, but these will be different. The joyful affection of a mother and daughter spilling over for the world to see.

And waiting close behind her...
          With her silvery-white hair shining in all its majestic glory... my grandmother.
                    When we parted ways years ago, I whispered a prayer.

"Father, please let me return and hug my Granny again."

There was no guarantee for my tomorrow, nor was there a guarantee for hers. And now that moment... that precious opportunity is so close I can feel it.

Others will be there and our joy will be full and happy and real.

These are also my people, my friends...


Others will surround us and welcome us "home." But where is home?

Is home that place I just left? That place that ripped my heart in two as I stepped on the plane?

Is home that place where I just stepped off the plane and was showered with hugs and kisses to greet me?

And in a few months I will repeat this all again as I return to the field... only I will weep on this side and rejoice on the other.

This is what it is like to be caught between two worlds.

It is joy... and sadness.
It is smiles... and tears.
It is hugs... and walking away.

I don't know why I am telling you this.

Can you understand?
          Can you feel the pain?
                    Can you feel the joy?

If you can celebrate through the pain...
If you can smile through tears...
If you can love from one side of the world to the other...

Maybe you do understand. Maybe you can comfort me and laugh with me. Maybe we can cry together and rejoice together.

And maybe you, too, will be
caught between two worlds.

"Rejoice with them that do rejoice,

and weep with them that weep." 

Romans 12:15 


(A quick shout out to Paige Wagoner for editing my writing... and my terrible grammar for me. She makes me look smart, but she is definitely the brains of this partnership! Thank you, Paige!)


Urgent Update:
After this was written and scheduled to post, word was received that Charity's Grandmother, Hattie, had a massive stroke a week before Charity's scheduled furlough. Ms. Hattie is currently stable, but is in need of your prayers. Please pray for Charity as one of her greatest desires is to hug her "Granny" again.


Lou Ann Keiser said...

I honestly couldn't even see the end of this post through the tears. Yes, this is the way it is--always a tearing in two, always wanting both halves of family, yet learning to be content--however things turn out, for God's glory. Bless you and everyone who serves abroad. We are quite a sisterhood!

L Piper said...

YES, this so too common!!! It's called LOVE!!! Love for your family (wherever in the world they are), love for your church family (even that changes locations), love for friends you make.......we're so rich in people to love (but it hurts so much to leave them, sometimes again and again!). Won't Heaven be sweet with no more goodbyes!!!

Wisdomseeker said...

Charity, I am praying for you and your family
During this bittersweet time for all of you.
So sorry to hear about your granny too and pray she will be healed according to God's will. Love you sister and bear your burdens with you. ��

Anonymous said...

Charity, sending hugs through my tears! Totally understand and feel so much the same. Praying for you all and your sweet grandmother. I love her name, Hattie! Thank you for your sweet words. -Angel in KZ

Donna said...

Charity, yes, there are many of us who understand!!! Loving people sometimes brings joy with pain. But God sent His Son to the earth and understands love that brings joy with pain. We are praying for you, your family and your grandmother!

Olivia said...

Oh my, yes, I can relate so well! Thank you for trying to put into words what so many of us feel.