Friday, September 3, 2010


Today, I saw a suitcase and I missed my mom.

OK, wait that sounds weird I know, but let me show you how my mind got there. Suitcase = luggage carousel at the airport = seconds before the happiest moment of my year = seeing my mom. It’s funny how little random things trigger off these sudden overwhelming emotions inside and how out of nowhere you suddenly find yourself in a kind of restlessness. I was inspired by this blog yesterday, which served to reassure me that I’m not a failure of a missionary for having those random days where, as she says, you wake up in a “funk”. I used to think it had something to do with that “time of the month” you know, but now I’ve come to realize it’s just a recurring restlessness that apparently even long time missionaries struggle with living cross-culturally.

Restlessness is the perfect word for this feeling because while I know that I don’t want to stay here, I also know that I don’t want to go home and I definitely don’t want to go somewhere new. Is that confusing? Someone once told me that the only place missionaries ever really feel at home is on a plane. The more I live overseas and the more I travel, the more true I realize that to be. Because, in fact it’s not that I want to “go” anywhere it’s just that maybe I want to “be going” somewhere.

When these little bouts of restlessness come, I usually have two options, the one is to go to a coffee shop, listen to mellow coffee-shop music, write in my journal, and wallow in it, which is not altogether healthy. Or my latest cure is to run away to Cape Town, which has a two-fold purpose: to reassure myself that the world is in fact bigger than my little bunkbed all-in-one (sofa, bed, office, table) and to get some good solid spiritual “food” at a church in which the preacher’s first-language is English and where his sentences flow together fast enough to keep me captivated for the full length of the sermon and with enough truth in it to stir up my spirit and remind me of my calling again. It works pretty well. On the most recent Cape Town run, I visited Hillsong Church and heard one of the most amazing sermons of my life preceded by some of the best food I had eaten in over a month, which is a very healing combination ☺

I have a theory that there is possibly a third antidote for the restlessness though and that one comes in the form of a tall, dark, and handsome creature on two legs. But that’s still just a theory…


Priscila said...

I know that feeling all too well - I knew it even before I was a missionary myself! Occupational hazard of being an MK, I guess! Hang in there!

Great post, Em! I particularly like the last little paragraph - just when the whole thing was getting too holy, you threw that curve ball! :P

Anonymous said...

Wow all I can say is that you are a great writer! Where can I contact you if I want to hire you?

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