Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


When I had to choose the dates for my trip I was under massive pressure.  It was the week of my final finals, two weeks before graduation.  I was also packing up all my belongings so I could send everything I didn't need home with my parents.  I hadn't communicated much with the folks here in England.  All I knew was that they wanted me to come and work, they were expecting me in June, and I was to stay for a month or two.  June 23-August 11 sounded good to me, so I booked the flight.
The first week here was extremely hard.  Reality hit as I boarded the plane.  "What the crap am I doing?"  I was literally at the mercy of God, because Debbie doesn't board planes with overseas destinations all by herself.  I missed my family.  I missed my friends.  I actually missed my classes and professors (well, some of them).  I was happy in Waco, going to class, going to church, hanging out with friends, etc etc.
Watching Friends tonight reminded me of those days.  It was an episode from the first season - the one where Chandler's mom kisses Ross; Monica and phoebe "woo-hoo" at the guy in the street and he ends up getting hit by an ambulance.  Then, One Tree Hill came on after Friends.  I was able to watch through the theme song but eventually had to turn it off.  *sigh*  All these shows bring back happy memories of staying over at friends houses, cooking dinner, eating sweets, and drinking wine.  (Actually, during this past year it was mainly Elaine and Kristen's house where all this took place.)
So now I feel nostalgic and slightly homesick.  Two days ago it would have been okay because I knew I would be going home in two weeks.  But now I'm not going home for two months.
It's amazing how complicated human emotions are.  I want to leave and stay all at the same time.  A few weeks ago I decided seven weeks wasn't enough time to spend working on Project.  I looked into staying longer, but found I couldn't afford it.  Then, King's Arms offered to help me pay and they wanted me to stay.  Silly me decided to extend my stay through September, and I rushed off to London to change my flight.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to stay.  I know I will be grieved to leave come September 30.  But at the same time I miss home.  I miss worshipping with the body of Christ at Antioch.  I miss late nights in the library, laughing with friends when we should be studying and writing papers.  I miss heading over to my brother's house to play with my nephews and niece, and those evenings where we all get together as a family and have dinner and watch movies.  I miss Friday night Friends binges and late nite coffee shop runs.  I miss home.
If home is where the heart is, then my heart is in San Antonio with my parents, in Waco with my brothers and my brother's family, in a swing on the Baylor campus, and in countless other cities my friends have dispersed to over the years.  And I know come October 1, my heart will also be in Bedford, England.
But for now, my whole body is in Bedford.  I cherish the time I have here and I love the new friends I've made.  I also know these three months are preparation for the rest of my life.

Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
  who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. . . .
They will go from strength to strength . . .
  -Psalm 84:5,7a

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