We have been blessed with such good friends and family. With today’s technology we have been able to stay in touch with many people from the states. We can “skype” in during the holidays and call over vonage anytime we like (if the time change is right). We have received several packages, cards, emails, etc. from many, and they have been such a blessing. Even with all the effort that is put forward by both sides (in which we are very thankful for those staying in touch with us) there is still something that becomes a realization in missionary life: people move on.
When you move to the other side of the world it is like you died in the place that you previously lived. Life as you know it just ended. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a complaint in any way, shape or form, it is just realizing the way things are. Life goes on without you and things just don’t feel the same.
It is hard to be “best friends” when there is no time to hang out anymore. Your family is still family but since you are not around you are out of the loop and no longer part of the plan making. Your church continues right on without you, even though you felt that it couldn’t run with out you.
“Closeness” slowly fades from those who were apart of your everyday life.
This is to be expected. As the saying goes “out of sight out of mind.” We are no longer around, so everyone needs to move on. You can’t expect anyone to live in the past when the current situation is radically different.
It is just difficult from the missionaries point of view because it is our lives that have changed, not everyone else’s, so this effects all our previous relationship, not just one. Sometimes you can feel left out or not needed.
It doesn’t stop there though because there is an upside to this…
New opportunities arise for the void to be filled. Those you left behind find a new closeness with others and many are challenged to fill your shoes.
For those of us on the field, we move on as well. We have made new friends and “family” that we have become acquainted with. No one back in America even knows their names but they have become some of the dearest people in our lives. A new life emerges.
“Closeness” is slowly reborn as we learn to love the new people around us.
Now we wish our new friends and family could meet our old friends and family, so both sides could know the joy that we receive from having each of them in our lives.
Ok, enough with the sappy stuff.