I am almost three months removed from my return to the US after living life in India for the two years prior. Moving to India was one of the hardest things that I had ever done in my life. It was not so much the going that was difficult because I was and am confident in the calling that God has placed on my life; but the moving away from the community of family and friends and the comforts of life was hard.
Since returning in December I have faced many surprises and much reverse culture shock, but I never imagined that returning to my "home" country would be as difficult as it was to leave it. On the surface I think I look exactly the same and to most people I probably do, maybe a little fatter, but generally the same. But the reality is that I am forever changed because of the life I have lived and experienced...a life that most people cannot simply understand.
Ever since I returned I have at least one moment a day where there is a vivid contrast between this world and that world. Between America and India. A contrast that takes me into a state of living between the two worlds. I really do not know how to describe it other than it reminds me of the flash backs that the characters on the show Lost experienced between the life they had lived and that of the island. These moments seem to come a lot when I am alone, driving, or at the grocery store of all places.
This week I had a moment, a day really where all of this hit me really hard. It may have been the lowest day since moving back. I am not sure that it was triggered by any one thing or event, but just a combination of things that finally caused me to collapse. And as much as these moments cause me to lack the feeling of normalcy, in some ways I hope to never completely lose them because I feel as if it helps me to stay connected to that world.
For example, I was on a walk with my son at the park the other day and we stopped to look over the hill at a pasture full of cows grazing with a barn that had mud all around from the recent rain. Instead of fully enjoying the scenery in front of me, I immediately thought of "My Timothy's" and the life that they live in the village. And I suddenly find myself in America where most of our animals live in better conditions than my friends in the villages of India live.
As I have started to slowly process all that I experienced the last few years and figure out what it is that God really showed me, I have been reminded that America too is not really my home. I am seeing that in a new light now as I am realizing that I am just a sojourner in this land too and that God has moved me back to this place now as my mission field.