I’m headed home after a blitz trip to North Carolina. Celebrating my parent’s 45 years with SIM was a blessing and honor. I was able to catch up with childhood friends as well as many “aunties and uncles.”
The morning of the ceremony, I had my speech prepared. When I stood up front of all those who’ve walked this road with my parents; many having direct influences in my life, I became overwhelmed with emotion.
I am proud to say I did get through my tribute to my parents, though there was some snot blowing, warbled voice and long pauses throughout!
I had the privilege of spending some extended time with a family friend. Eighteen years ago, while traveling for the mission, she was involved in a terrible car accident. Her story is amazing; from how the Ethiopia people gathered around their car for the entire night, sleeping next to them to offer protection to how God allowed the light to remain just a bit longer to get a plane in to fly her out.
We talked about the surgeries, the recovery, the rehabilitation. I listened, amazed by her profound story of courage and hope.
Of the many things she shared, a few things stand out. One in particular I’ve been mulling over in my brain.
As she began the painful, arduous therapy of living forever in a wheelchair, losing her ability to walk, they were told this.
“It takes 3-5 years to create a new normal after a life changing event.”
As she said those words, the first thing that popped in my mind was DESTA.
Losing your first parents, being placed in a new home, new language, new culture. Being flown halfway around the world forever. This is a life altering event.
Here we are, 5 years later, feeling like breaths are finally being taken. Five years later, laughter is more often heard than anger. Five years later, routine is established. While not perfect, while still struggling with bumps along the way, we no longer live in each moment, waiting for the Jekyll/Hyde roller coast of emotions to show.
We live in a world of RIGHT NOW. We want everything to work out quickly. We don’t like pain and we certainly don’t like chaos.
What if we lived in light of those therapist’s words; understanding that life altering events need to be slowly rewired?
As I sat on the plane listening to this poor single mother absolutely frustrated with her loud one year old, I remembered those first day with Desta.
I wondered how she felt as she was placed in new arms; smells unfamiliar, touch different, even formula tasting odd. Her whole world was turned upside-down.
For her, five years is not a long time. It’s laden with layers of baggage, things she never asked to carry but has to.
I think we’ve all done a pretty stellar job of learning a new normal. I’m no longer hitting myself up the side of my head. I am no longer going to speak defeat and doubt.
Instead I am going to remember where we came from. I’m going to celebrate how far we’ve come.