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Feelings For 2009

January 7, 2010

In response to a dear friend that wants to have our feelings about the last year, I will attempt to summarize my emotions.

Any move will bring a person from the height of pleasant emotions to the depths of negative ones. I can say we have been no different than the average family in that respect.

I remember the feelings of sheer excitement moving to Rwanda. The joy of moving to a much more temperate climate. The thrill of shopping for a new place to live. The intrigue of buying goods in a new store.

I also remember the disappointment that followed each of those enthusiasms. Wondering when the rain will stop. Seeing yet another house that fit the need, but far exceeded our means. The frustration of goods being less available and more expensive.

You can see the emotional roller coaster played its part: when there was a climb, there proceeded a descent. Still, a responding climb was sure to come.

There was great delight in having a broader range of community. We came to Kigali knowing only a handful of people and in a short amount of time, God has blessed us with many friends. I can say this is 99% pure joy. I have to admit, however, for someone who has lived most of the last decade with a micro-community, there are days when having many relationships is overwhelming. (I am guessing that there are only a few of you that will really understand this; those that have lived life in similar circumstances.) Suddenly there are so many people’s feelings to consider. So many to spend time with. So many to serve. So many to enjoy. Remember, I said 99% pure joy. I wouldn’t trade the blessing of these new relationships for anything. These new relationships have been a salve for the ones left behind in Togo.

A glimpse of my feelings over the last year would not be complete without a quick look at the ever looming cloud of . . . culture shock. Yes my friends, it still exists. Sure, we are still in Africa. But we moved a pretty good distance – 2067 miles. That’s about the same as a move from my hometown, Huntsville, Alabama to Seattle, Washington. Some of you can see the culture shock that would be. Remember the simple down-home farm life of your Alabama home and try and see yourself navigating the streets of Seattle. Imagine, also the difference if Washington’s language was Chinese and coming from Alabama you were fluent in Pig-Latin. Even though they are on the same continent, Togo and Rwanda are worlds apart. The people react, think, behave and receive us differently.

Mom and Dad are not the only ones that ‘feel’ a move this size. Our children experienced their own rises and falls. You parents know that the toughest thing is having to watch your kids fight their own emotional battles, knowing all you can do is cheer them on, they still have to tough it out for themselves. I distinctly remember one night, tucking one of the boys in after a routine, everything-went-fine-at-school day, to find that he was sobbing in his bed. The reason for the waterworks? “I miss our dog.”

If the end of the year is equal to the roller coaster train pulling into the station, then as the safety harness releases, I have the choice of staying in the seat or getting out on the other side of the platform; I think I will have to keep my seat, pull down the security bar and hang on for another loop around the track.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. the Miller family permalink
    January 7, 2010 3:17 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing those ups and downs! Like any year in our lives, we too are glad that it is all a part of the refining process that the Lord brings us through to draw closer to Him and each other. We continue to pray for you all and love you SO much! There is a joy in the journey.

  2. Tracey permalink
    January 7, 2010 3:41 pm

    Louise,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings on the past year. Love you so much!

  3. Jenna permalink
    January 8, 2010 12:32 am

    love it! I can imagine what you’ve been through — so thankful for your descriptive words. I can identify with it, too —
    VERY thankful for the joy God is blessing you with.
    Hope to see you all this summer and catch up with each one of you.

  4. Sandi permalink
    January 29, 2010 6:35 pm

    Love you, Louise. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  5. Jane Neal permalink
    February 14, 2010 2:45 am

    Louise, I just read this tonight and love hearing about how you’re doing. YES, coming out of a micro-community is a large change! But I am so glad to hear that you are surrounded by so many loving people. And YES, it is so very hard to watch your children fight their own battles. May the Lord’s presence make each ride around that track smoother, dear friend. Love, Jane

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