It's exactly two weeks from today that I fly from Tennessee to Seattle, Washington, and then the next day, on to Alaska to stay for the next 6 months. Two weeks from today. I can't even comprehend that!
It seems like just yesterday that I got home from Alaska. In fact, I distinctly remember the day that was two weeks after getting back. I wrote this in my journal that day:
October 9, 2013
Realized today that it's been exactly 2 weeks since I returned to TN. Just 14 days. That's not a long time, compared to how long I was there and how life-changing it was. Some would say, 2 weeks is long enough to recuperate, now get on with life. Maybe they'd be right. But realizing it's only been 2 weeks somehow also gives me a little space and permission to breathe, to know I'm still processing and adjusting, and that's okay. There's a lot to process. And not just things that happened there, past-tense, but what is continuing. What God was doing in me there didn't end when I got on the plane and left. It's still going. And yet some things did end and get left behind, like the beauty, the atmosphere, the friends, and the ministry, and those things I ache and long for. So I'm working through the mess. I don't know if I can expect to ever feel like I'm 'back to normal,' because I'm changed. The old normal isn't normal anymore, and that's good.
(What a beautiful mess re-entry is. If you've ever been on a life-altering mission trip, you understand. It's good and terrible at the same time...but kinda mostly terrible...with good results, hopefully.)
So I remember very clearly those few weeks of re-entry woes, followed by what was kind of a difficult winter personally and a busy one.... and now I'm here, today, and it's spring, and I'm 14 days from going back to Alaska again, and I can't even believe that it all went by so quickly! Didn't I just write that journal entry last month? Nope. Six months ago. How in the world did that happen?!
I'm trying to pace myself through these next two weeks while getting everything done -- visiting with family and friends, saying goodbyes, shopping, packing, and yes, excitedly counting down the days until I'm back in the place that stole my heart last year.
Two weeks. That's so crazy.