Sunday, April 15, 2012

Life In Between

For the past few months, I've been pondering the idea of what it means to live "in between." It seems that in many areas of my life I am called to live between who I was and who I will be, depravity and redemption, this place and that one, this identity and another. As a believer and a displaced person, I feel like I'm never fully at home.

I wrestle with this a lot. I'm someone who likes things to be wrapped up neatly, for life to be predictable and manageable, but it seems like God calls me to more and more mess in my heart and life. Many years ago, I was encouraged to pursue being someone who is "undone." That sounded like a horrible idea. Being undone sounds messy, awkward, embarrassing, uncomfortable. You're telling me I have to fall apart? No thank you. But a few weeks later, I asked Ethan not to do something because it was "unsafe." He asked me what unsafe meant. I said, "It means not safe. Like untied means not tied, and undone means . . . not done." Light bulb! So being undone isn't just falling apart, it's recognizing I was never "done" in the first place? Got it. 

One of the biggest ways God makes me aware that I'm not done, that I'm still living in between, is through transition. Nothing stirs up your heart and makes you lose your equilibrium like change. Last September we somewhat unexpectedly began a process of change that has led us to see that our time in Asia is drawing to a close. We hadn't shared this news with everyone until recently, so I haven't been able to share how I am processing the emotions of saying goodbye to what has been home for 13 years. This September we will leave here, head back to Minnesota for a few months, and then start a new life in Orlando, Florida.

So now we are living between excitement and fear, terrible sadness and joyful anticipation. Sometimes it feels like too much to bear, and we still have 4 months here. It will only be a greater tension as our departure draws near.

I've been looking forward to being able to share our transition process on my blog because I believe it will help me work through all this upheaval. I plan to change the url for my blog soon, since I will no longer be living my Asian life (and we're certainly not the Butz fam in Singapore anymore!). I anticipate that it will take a long time before we feel settled back in America. In fact, I expect that we will never completely feel settled there. It will just continue to be my "in between" life.


Melanie said...

Wow, big change. Exciting but scary, you have been there a long time. Will be praying for your family as you make the transition.

Barbara said...

Even after one year in Germany, studying as a language student in a Junior Year Abroad program, I remember having similar feelings as i returned to the U.S. Perhaps not as intense, but definitely like standing with a foot on each continent. I was somewhat unsure of who I was and who I had become, drawn to the cultural life in Europe as well as the familiar life at 'home' yet unable to fully embrace either. One thing such a transition teaches you is tolerance, and another is that you can hold the best of both worlds close to your heart, even as you bounce back and forth inside. Eventually you come to balance. You settle. I wish that peace for you and all who make great leaps of distance, and faith.