Last night a friend returning home from a far-off land asked me, “So what do you do when you come home from another country and you don’t know what’s next?” Hmmm… that is a very good question, one that I have lived through – multiple times. Even though I arrived “home” to the beautiful, humid PA in mid-August with only a hopeful sketch of plans, I’ve had no trouble filling my time. The words and images below should give you a general idea.
Four hours off the plane, I attended my cousin’s wedding.
I also drank in the peaceful, lush green of my childhood home,
shared the handiwork of Ugandans with my delighted niece and nephews,
savored the picking and tasting of sweet corn with farming friends,
covered new territory on foot with my dad,
took up a few new occupations – masonry,
blacksmithing, and painting – as in fences, living rooms, garage doors etc. (no pictures to show. sorry.),
played and relaxed with family at the beach,
and later reconvened at my parents for a family work day and a pre-40th wedding anniversary celebration for my parents!
(Yes, those are all plaid jackets owned by my father and proudly sported by all his children.)
Plenty of less photogenic projects filled my time as well – finishing administrative details from work in Uganda, speaking at churches, hosting supporter events, repairing roof leaks and submitting job applications. I reconnected with friends, re-traced familiar bike routes on my red Specialized and attempted to get in shape again. And while I was plenty busy on the exterior, uncertainty brought all sorts of busyness to the internal me too. I would be a complete fake if I pretended that I wasn’t frequently found asking God “what, when or why?” or that I didn’t shed tears when I was certain my hopes and dreams would go up in flames. But in the midst of the uncertainty I have no grounds to claim that God ever neglected me. I’ve always had a bed to sleep in, food to eat, a job to go to, friends to laugh and cry with with, family to love, and so much more.
So, what do I do when I come home and don’t know what’s next? Well, I do the next thing, prepare for the future in the best way I know how and enjoy all the small and big things that each season of life can offer. And speaking of seasons… they are known to change frequently. Check in again soon to hear what’s next for me.