As you might have seen (or not even noticed at all), I kind of dropped off the face of the earth here for the past 8 months. Yes. That happened.
I have been wondering how to start this specific post for a while now (8 months to be precise). At first it was because I didn’t know what the update would be: “Back in the States! Only half of us have jobs and we don’t have a place to live yet or a car!”. And then once we did have jobs and found a place to rent it would be something along the lines of, “We’re overwhelmed with transitioning and starting everything over again in a different (albeit familiar) country!”. Another 6 months in, the title would read something like, “Still overwhelmed with work, working too many hours, feeling like we’re catching up on everything but grateful for the convenience of things, caught up in the busyness of the States, who are our friends and community and are we doing this right??”.
This leads us to today.
We have been back in the States for 8 months now (WHAT?!) and are in the hustle and bustle of our jobs, and transitioning (still) back to discovering what is our everyday life, what our purpose is now, and who is our community.
Being back doesn’t downplay the incredible adventures, memories, challenges and growth that we had in Venezuela. Just as being so thankful to be back here doesn’t mean the 2 years in Venezuela aren’t close to our hearts and in everything that we do.
When you experience something life-changing, it is a part of you forever. This is not to say that you are forever scarred and must drag the shadow and aftermath of horrible experiences and memories with you forever. Rather, this is saying that you do not have to take the burden of those experiences with you, but can choose intentionally to be the stronger, grateful, wiser and more mature YOU thanks to what you learned and how you grew exponentially during those experiences. Venezuela was an incredible 2 years of our lives, and while things were difficult and there will be more posts on what we saw and worked through there and how that has challenged how we live now, overall, we have such good memories. As a result, I’ve noticed how often we’ve said, “In Venezuela…” in normal conversations with those around us in our jobs, friend groups, with my students, and families on a regular basis. Not to highlight our “exotic adventures” to seem cultured and knowledgeable, but because that was our life for 2 years and the very thing we have to relate to those around us now.
Life does not pause. It is ever-changing. People have changed, friendships have evolved, and while some things have slid easily back into place, others are still waiting to find their right fit and space in our new reality.
We are content knowing that this is where we are supposed to be right now. Even while we do not know what the next months, or even year has for us. You see, no one actually tells you that when you are finished with one “adventure” you actually are embarking on an entirely new one. And while “Pasadena, California” does not have the same ring as “Caracas, Venezuela,” God is still moving and at work in our lives here. While some things are “figured out” there is a vast number of things that are on the horizon, waiting to happen, and we are realizing that our everyday and ordinary life is actually more extraordinary than we thought. Not because of the events that transpire in the day-to-day, rather, that we are growing and developing and learning in each of those moments. We are seeing and appreciating the beauty of these normal moments, and getting excited for what this path is bringing us to next.