Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

I'm home and, yes, it is sweet.

I know, I should be sleeping, but, alas, instead I'm reflecting on the journey I've been on for the last couple weeks.

I was blessed to be warmly welcomed today by three of my favorite people (thanks guys) - Sean, Cheryl, and Brad - and then got to spend some time catching up over tea. It's amazing how much you can miss in two weeks but such a gift to know that time is really only time...and two weeks is short in the grand scheme of didn't really feel like I'd been gone and I like that.

It's funny, though, to be back in my community, back with people that I love and am loved by, and feel a strange sensation of detachment. As much as it feels like no time has passed, I know there were two weeks that did. Those two weeks feel like an entirely different world, a time warp of sorts. If I didn't know for sure that they did, in fact, happen, I might be convinced that it was all a dream, an odd, intense dream There's no way to communicate to people here just what those two weeks were like. Only those of us that experienced them together will really know. It's a bizarre thing, really.

We lived fully and intensely while on the CCUFairs. The connections made in that context are forged fast and deep. Imagine 30 people doing life together, primarily in the confines of a coach bus, surviving both work and play play on a small amount of sleep, eating all meals together (there's something to be said about 'breaking bread together' and the power of shared food), and inviting God into the mix and you will begin to understand. For some of us, this is not the first time that we've traveled together and so, for those relationships, it's a matter of growing and maturing the relationships, taking it to a whole new level.

I have so many memories buzzing through my head that I want to hold on to - jokes we laughed at. Funny situations we found ourselves in. Conversations we shared with each other and with students/parents we met. Frustrations - but what I realized while I was out today is that I don't know that I have the words to describe it well enough for my "life" here to enter in and enjoy it with me. Inside jokes are only funny to those on the inside.

I experience this every time I come home from a trip like this. It's an exceptional challenge for me this time, though, because I'm keenly aware of the fact that this will very likely be my last fall of travel like this and, because of that, likely my last encounter with many of these people who have become friends. I'm thankful to have one more leg of the fairs left - watch out Ontario - and find myself absorbing and savoring moments in an entirely different way. Perhaps it's healthy. A new sense of living in the moment.

Perhaps it's all just this unique place of transition that I find myself in. I'm finished at the College, a reality that's sinking in more and more each day, and soon will be done my contract with CCUFairs as well. After that I don't know what I'll be adventure in obedience. I'm loving the freedom of that and the anticipation of the possibilities. I'm enjoying searching myself out too, reflecting on who I am and who God is making me.

I've realized just how much what we "do" does seem to define who we are...or at least how we see ourselves. I don't want to be defined by what I do but I'm realizing that it informs my perception of myself as I experience completely different sides of myself than I might in other areas of life.

I admit that in some ways I went into the tour with that in mind. I've been using the process to test myself - and perhaps to heal - and it's been good. I've been reminded of things I love to do and surprised by things that I'm good at. I've been blessed and encouraged by those around me who have affirmed good things in me. I feel, in many ways, that for the first time in a long time I have lived to the fullest of who I am and it's good. That is a 'me' that I am very comfortable with. That is a 'me' I hope I continue to be well after the last venue is cleaned up at the end of the fairs. Perhaps it's the me that others have seen all along. Perhaps I've known her all along but have just gotten to know her a little better.

Perhaps that sounds ridiculous. It's another one of those things, those experiences,I think, that is bigger than words. Without experiencing it, it may never make sense. For now, it's enough for me to say that I know I'm on a journey and I recognize that the fairs are playing a role in preparing me for whatever plans God has for my future.

So it's good to be home. Time to reflect. Time to reconnect. Time to be refreshed and rejuvenated. Time to prepare for one more leg of the journey.

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