Early Wednesday morning I’ll fly out of China. In the initial stages of confirming the move it just felt like I was going on another big trip. But now as I sit among the boxes, suitcases, and the remnants of my stuff, its quite clear that I am actually leaving.
It is strange, though, how I just met a new friend that I would very much have liked to meet years ago! It is also curious that I’m only just now connecting in a real way with people that I didn’t really know or spend much time with in the past.
I’m not exactly sad, but there is, of course, some grieving. Grieving the pulling apart of friends that you have grown close to and won’t have around. Grieving the loss of the known, and perhaps a little grieving of what might have been. The grieving that is necessary, the grieving that is healthy.
Who, besides God, really knows where I’m going and for how long? This most likely isn’t my last move, and I never thought I’d move back to Thailand! I know for sure I’ll be back to various locations in China for work projects.
I’ve been in a China-shaped crucible for the last six years. Now that crucible has been fired up again and I’m being poured out into a new place with a different shape. What the new form will specifically look like I do not know but I am looking forward to it. I have put all my confidence, trust, and hope in my Heavenly Father.
At this point, I’m not sure I have a lot to say, although a part of me thinks that I should. This has been a profound period of growth for me, and it happens to have been in China. Another place could have been the background for the same kind of growth – I don’t want to give China too much credit – but people who live here know what I mean when I say that it really imprints and changes you.
While I’m packing up my life here this week, I know I’ll be unpacking these years in China for the rest of my life. I’m sure there will be moments when some lesson I’ve learned filters up through my consciousness into my public or private life. For now, however, I’ll start with these few thoughts.