When I tell people that I live in Australia and work in full-time missions there are a lot of responses that I receive, but I always find myself not knowing what the perfect response would be.
Some people think I am this brave, fearless person, some think I am on vacation, some are proud of me, think I am on some soul-searching adventure, and there are some that are just confused as to how I ended up here (so am I…for the record!).
There’s no wrong response, and people always draw their own conclusions. I always think – fearless, do you know who I am? I can’t even sleep without a night light! Others think it seems like a paradise, but if you know Townsville it’s far from the truth. Australia is beautiful and in a lot of ways different from home, but it’s not all big waves and white sandy beaches. There are ups and downs to every part of life, and in every geographical location.
I love Australia because I feel that God has called me there for this time, it’s home to me because I have lived there for 4 years, I have a house, my belongings, and friends there.
The truth is that Paris, TX will always be home and a little part of my heart will always stay in Australia and Papua New Guinea as long as I live, and where ever I go.
My family can’t be recreated or replaced so there’s a part of Paris that is a little sweeter than anywhere else…family is everything.
When my visa was granted I sat and cried for a good while. I cried because I was so relieved that I can now return to my work in Australia. I was relieved that I wasn’t “stuck” in transit anymore, and that it finally happened! I was also heartbroken at the thought of leaving home again, saying goodbye, and packing my bags. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to go, it just means that the hardest part about living overseas is that I have two homes now. No matter where I am, I’m always a little homesick for the other.
It’s not a pity party here! I love what I do, and know that I ultimately make this choice each and every day. I also know that if I went against what I know God is calling me too – that regardless of anything else, I would feel totally misplaced and a little lost.
People squint their eyes and give me the “do you really want to go back?” look. I understand… they love me, they want to make sure this is right! I love that people care, and that people try to understand.
I don’t know “what’s next” or when that is, but I do know that on Monday, when I fly out of DFW I will cry long and hard on the flight missing my family and thinking “Man, it will be another year…”.
I also will land at LAX and look forward to touching down in Australia, going through customs and on to Townsville. I will look forward to sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my own kitchen, and seeing my friends who also understand the mix of emotions I’ve just been dealing with. They will hug me, and I will start crying for all of the same reasons all over again.
I believe in what I do, and I believe it’s important. I believe that there are people in Papua New Guinea who deserve people who are committed to serving a God that brings life. A few years ago, I realized that I am one of those people, and God has a plan that’s
usually always better than mine.
It’s worth it.