Ramblings of a confused girl trying to do re-entry well.
I fancy myself a very adaptable person. I grew up kind of needing to be adaptable, so I’ve always welcomed change pretty easily. For this reason, I thought reentry back into the States would be pretty easy for me. I left the Race feeling so excited and nervous and READY for the future, but now that I’m here, I’m just a little confused. Here’s the thing: reentry for me is easy... most of the time. I love having cold, clean drinking water, soft toilet paper, a Keurig and a washer and dryer. I love sitting in an air conditioned room and not sweating profusely or being attacked by mosquitoes while I spend time with Jesus. Last night, I slept in a super comfy bed with a fluffy comforter in my best friends air conditioned apartment, but still, I woke up this morning at 3:45am (because... jet lag) in tears. I wasn’t sure why, but it suddenly hit me in that moment that it’s over. Like over over.
Of course, in many ways it’s such a good thing that it’s over. Frankly, I’m physically and emotionally exhausted, and I’ve been “ready” for the Race to be over and to go back to the many luxuries of living in America again for weeks. But, I woke up this morning wide awake and craving my World Race community, and it wasn’t there. I immediately messaged a few of my friends from the Race (because they’re all jet lagged too...) and knew they’d understand. I semi-vented to one of my amazing teammates, Joanna, and the first sentence she messaged back was “how can I love and support you?” and again, I immediately burst into tears. Friends, I wish a community and a friend like that for everyone, because the fact of the matter is, friendships like that are not simply a luxury for those of us who are lucky to find it, they’re a necessity. God wants us to be in community that challenges and supports us. You deserve community like this, wherever you are in your life or faith. You deserve friends that love and support you so much that saying goodbye just isn’t an option, no matter the distance.
Keeping in touch with my squad mates every day has helped me feel more ”at home”. Which is good, because honestly I don’t know what ”home” is anymore. That sounds a little dramatic, but I’m sure many of you remember going to your parents house after a while and realizing this isn’t home for me anymore. It’s a little scary. My parents’ home is just that: my PARENTS’ home. I don’t have my apartment anymore, so now it just feels like I’m in the weird in-between spot where I have plenty of houses to stay at, but I still have to find a “home”... my ”home”. In that way, I need the help of my community here in the States. So, if you want to know what my answer is to the question “how can you love and support me?” Here are a few ways:
Tell me about what’s going on in your life. How has this year been for you? What are you struggling with? What amazing things have happened? Your life has been just as eventful as mine, and one of the best ways you can love and support me is by allowing me to love and support you as well.
Ask me deeper questions. It’s tempting to stay on the surface level, especially if you’re not sure what questions to ask me or how to talk about the broad subject of the World Race. But fortunately, one of my squad mates, McKenzie, wrote this awesome blog about questions to ask us about this year and I would love to answer those questions! Intentional questions will help me feel a little more at ”home” because intentionality was a big part of our community... so much so that many of us now hate the word “intentional”.
Let me process (we hate that word too), however it looks that month, day or week. This morning, that looked like me crying over a warming Keurig. Tomorrow, it might look like telling a million stories. I’m hoping that most days it won’t be dramatic or even noticeable because I’ll pull it off so effortlessly... but if I’m being totally honest, I’ve never been through a change this big or weird, so I have NO idea how it will look.
Help me to rest, not veg. It’s easy to slip into the mindset that vegging out in front of the TV is restful and that it’ll help me... it won’t. I do need rest, but I’ve learned that rest for me looks more like going on coffee dates, running errands, being productive in ways where I can visibly see progress (gardening, building, cooking, cleaning), and driving around alone. You can love and support me by keeping me accountable and telling me to get off the couch and rest for real.
Give me feedback... ugh, I hated typing that. But friend, I need you to be honest and vulnerable with me. I need you to tell me if I hurt you, or if I am being inconsiderate, selfish or un-Jesus-like. Please love me in that way by giving me loving feedback and suggesting ways I can look more like Jesus. Of course, feedback can mean telling me that I’m doing really well in something as well! It can mean encouraging me by telling me “wow AnnaGrace, you’ve really grown in this” or “you’re really gifted in that”. Some of the best ways I’ve grown is through feedback, whether it’s really difficult feedback to hear, or if it’s really encouraging feedback that reveals a gift to me that I never thought I had. My first team during month one encouraged me in so many ways, and it gave me confidence that brought me to SO much more growth throughout the Race, and I want to continue that growth.
So, please forgive the long rambling blog that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. And also please forgive me for not blogging in such a long time. I apologize, and I plan on writing blogs to catch you up on my last two months of the Race now that I have infinite WiFi at my disposal.
With love from Springfield, Missouri