Friday, August 2, 2013

All That Is Over

Summer camp is over.
Our first year of marriage is over.
College is over.
High school is over.
My childhood is over.

I can tell you with certainty all that is over.
It's the future that makes me unsure.

On August 17th, Jeremy and I will board a plane for South Korea where we will spend the next 12 months teaching English in the province of Chungbuk. Beyond that, I can't tell you very much.

I can't tell you, where we'll teach.
If we'll work at the same school.
What ages we'll teach.
Who we'll work with.
What city we'll live in.
What our apartment will look like.
If they'll have gluten-free food.
What we'll eat.
Who we'll know.
If there's a church nearby.
How we'll get around.
How the Skype connection will be.
If we'll make friends.

It's this unknown about "what's to come" that keeps me up at night.
That sends bizarre dreams to my restless sleep.
That makes me worry.
That leaves me anxious.
That maybe what "they" have said is right.

In the past year, I've mentioned to several people about the potential that we may move overseas, someone usually says something to the effect of, "You're putting yourself through that again? Didn't you get enough the first time?"

The "first time" they refer to is the year I spent in Cambodia teaching English in 2008.

To summarize: I went as a student missionary when I was nineteen.  I battled an eating disorder and depression, I was sexually assaulted, and I was hit by a car. I survived. I wrote a book about it. And I can tell you that it was the hardest year of my life, but it was also the most important year of my life.

Should I be more concerned than I am?
Should I add more worries to my list?
Am I missing something?

This question from people always rubs me the wrong way. It's as if they are saying "You just don't travel well. Maybe you should stay home." But what I've come to understand about foreign travel is that it's supposed to be hard. Otherwise it wouldn't be a risk. Otherwise it wouldn't teach us anything. And my year in 2008 was particularly difficult because of:
A. the mental illness I brought with me
B. very few friends or community in Cambodia
C. some unfortunate circumstances that were beyond my control

So my answer to that question is "No, I'm not putting myself through that again: mental illness, isolation, and sexual assault. I am traveling overseas again because, no, I didn't get enough of that the first time. And ever since I've been craving more."

I am a different person now.

I am not the perfect traveler.
I will get homesick.
There will be struggles.

But this girl...

is a different person...

Rich Young

than this girl.

I've gone to counseling.
I've recovered from anorexia and bulimia.
I've moved on.
I've grown up.
I've been challenged.
And I've been changed.
I've graduated from college.
I've met and married my best friend.

I'm ready for another adventure and I'm taking it on this time with my whole heart. 
With grace.
With gratitude.
With wisdom.
And with all the confidence I can muster.

Please pray.


Anonymous said...

And you've had the best ice cream ever! Miss you guys.

Anonymous said...

To be away from home is not easy but u will gain so much experiences. Just be positive of what u are planning to do so the outcome will be positive too. From the bottom of my heart ,I am so proud of both of you! You can do it!!!!
Prayers and love for u always!!!!!!!

Anthony said...

Does your present feel better than your past? Does the future look better than where you are?

KendraKay at said...

I'm cheering for you, over here in Nebraska! I love the song "Some People Change" because I too have been through years of counseling and known the transformation that brings. I swear by it and think everyone could use a little! Bravo for not letting a "failure" mean you won't try again. I think we are all too enamored with playing it safe with our selves. You go!

Big Rich said...

I'm excited for you!