Back in the Motherland

It's interesting to be back in a place where joy and heartache were so prevalent for me, sometimes all at once, sometimes intermittently. Walking around Kandern I'm reminded of the excitement felt when it was time for small group to begin, when I would walk to Rachel's and Amy's house for tea, when I would see Lexi at the grocery store, when I would watch The Bachelor with CB, Erin, Lexi, Lauren, et al and drink wine and laugh about Tommy being the next Bachelor.

I'm reminded of the sweet relationships I had with my students. The random knocks on the door for a chat and hot chocolate. The tears shed on my couch about boys, missing their parents, and just life. The sweet chats with Jen on her couch and drinking her spiced tea while I spilled my guts to her about all I was experiencing.

Then I think about the last 3 months I lived here. The most bittersweet months in my life I think. I was going back for a reason, for a purpose or so I thought. And in the back of my mind I wondered if he was really going to appreciate me once I moved back. And when he didn't and broke my heart, I mourned for my sweet Kandern. For the people I'd left, the country I'd fallen in love with, and the little town that held my heart.

I worried for a long time - up until very recently- if people here were mad at me for leaving the way I did. Because I left them in haste. I thought I was supposed to do it that way. I thought I was leaving for someone who loved me as much as I loved them. And I was supposed to do it that way. And when it didn't happen and when he told me he didn't care that I'd left a whole entire other life behind, I had to pick up the pieces and start to talk about it openly.

Yesterday, Rachel and I went to get coffee and catch up. We talked about the past, about the decision I made to leave when I did and how I wished I could have taken it back and finished the year off. Rachel said something so profound, so real, and something I needed to hear. In so many words "Don't regret something you did with the knowledge you had at the time you did it."

The knowledge I had three years ago was that I had met someone, that someone wanted me back in the States, that someone didn't want to do long distance, that someone wanted to marry me. It made sense. And now looking back at all of it, no, he didn't love me, no, he didn't care where I had to come from to make his life simple, no, he didn't want to marry me. So I gave up everything and he gave up nothing. But again - the knowledge I had then told me to go and do this.

Sometimes I ask God "Why did you have to do it that way?" It was painful and it hurt to leave this lovely little place with the amazing people and the students who taught me more than I ever imagined. God is mysterious. God does things that I'll never be able to explain and this was one of many of them.

Today as I type this out, I'm at peace. I realize that my time here was just that - a time. And nobody is mad or upset. They understood. They know God is unpredictable and uses what He will to get us where we need to be.

It's good to be back in Kandern.


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