Tomorrow we head out for the D.C. (Dulles) airport. We'll spend tomorrow night there and then fly out Wednesday afternoon. We'll arrive in Jo-burg (South Africa) on Thursday afternoon, spend the night with missionary friends, and then fly to Livingstone on Friday. Please pray that the plane has some extra space (for my jumpy legs!) and that our luggage arrives in one piece and in a timely manner (as in, while we're standing at the baggage carousol.)
What a bittersweet goodbye this day has been. Last year was so exciting that it hardly hurt to say goodbye. We were so excited for the adventure before us that we didn't stop to think of the things (namely, people) that we would miss during the 10 months we spent away from home. This year, however, the stakes are much higher. Jacob and I fully and completely understand the depths that true homesickness can reach. I remember saying last year that for the first time I understood why they call it "homesickness." That's no joke. There were days I felt like I couldn't speak for missing my family and friends. It feels like you're being cheated when you arrive home to a baby brother that's 7 inches taller and has grown facial hair (which happened to both me and Jake this year! Slow down Hank and Cody!)
The worst part is that you have to hold up a front that makes your family and friends think that you're really very excited to leave them. Because if you don't, they worry about you the whole time that you're there. And the only thing worse than being homesick on a foreign continent is letting your loved ones know about it.
But the stakes are higher this year for other reasons. We're going back to a new and exciting vision that we're both thrilled to execute. And we go back to someone that we've been dreaming about since we left. I can't wait to hold 'Sunda. I long for the day that the 3 of us forget that we ever spent a day apart. But for goodness sake, we're going to be parents! Am I ready for this? Absolutely not. I was also not ready to get married. And I was not ready to move to Zambia. I was not ready to direct an orphanage. And I was not ready to say goodbye to my dad twice in a year. But isn't it good that God equips the called instead of calling the equipped?
Writing this blog was a good idea. I don't really feel any better about leaving. And I'm not positive that I've found the cure for desperate homesickness. But I've reminded myself of all the reasons I'm homesick for Zambia. And being homesick for open spaces, good friends, unbelievable freedom, and a certain chocolate-skinned little girl is going to be what gets me on that plane. Not to mention the peace that comes from being in the center of God's will.
We'll miss you. Please write. Call often. Send sweets. Lovelovelove.