points of dissonance

this week has been a week of transitions. the boys left for vacation with their extended families, so newstart feels empty. i have a sweet friend, Catherine, arriving tomorrow, and i can’t even begin to describe how much i’ve been looking forward to her visit. we will travel around Uganda together for a week. then, just a few days after she leaves, i’ll be getting on a plane back to charlotte, where i will spend 3 weeks completing my homestudy and submitting some other adoption-related paperwork.

i’ve been trying to prepare my heart for leaving Uganda, and reentering the US. this transition will be difficult for me, and i’m a little anxious about it. while i am excited to have the opportunity to visit with many of my good friends, it will be really hard for me to leave my little Ugandan princess here, and know i will miss her terribly while i’m away.

i am slowly realizing what an impact these four months in Uganda have had on my life. to say it’s been life-changing would be an understatement. my world has been shaken. turned upside-down. my reality has totally shifted, and this is causing me to feel dissonance when trying to imagine how i will adjust back into my life in America only to return to Uganda a few weeks later. this dissonance isn’t bad. just like in music, where the dissonant chords can be the most beautiful. in life, the dissonance brings richness. makes me feel more complete.

what seemed foreign to me before coming to Uganda has now become familiar. this means that the familiarities of home will feel strangely foreign to me. i am worried of the ramifications of culture shock. i know i will have a hard time stomaching the affluence of American society. it will be difficult making choices due to the seemingly limitless options. i’m afraid of becoming discouraged. i’m anxious of not being able to connect with people because of my changed heart. i’m afraid of slipping back into the person i used to be. i know i will be unsettled during those few weeks. that as much as i will enjoy seeing everyone, i will be anxious to complete all the paperwork for the adoption and get back here to Uganda as quickly as possible.

however, i don’t want to let my fears about these transitions control me. i recognize the changes that have taken place in my life. i want to allow this dissonance to continue. i don’t want to demand immediate closure on these thoughts and feelings. rather, i want them to stay with me as i return home. i want this time in Uganda to have a lasting impact on my life and the lives of people i come into contact with. so, i will grapple with how to integrate what i have seen, learned and questioned into creative, positive life choices.

i realize that it will be almost instinctive to judge certain things i see back at home. after living in the midst of such poverty, simplicity, community, spirituality, and depth of humanity, it will be hard not to be sickened by certain aspects of American culture. i also realize that if i criticize others or isolate myself, this will lead to alienation, withdrawal and broken relationships. and i don’t want anything to do with that. i hope that during my few weeks at home, i can connect more deeply with the people in my life.

God has shown his grace and faithfulness and has given me comfort and healing through my experiences here. he reminds me over and over that he will not let me down. that he knows the details of my life and he will be there for me no matter how desperate my situation may seem, or how tired and weary my soul is. he promises his love and mercy. i want to hold tight to his promise. and remember that he is enough. more than enough.

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6 responses to “points of dissonance

  1. Christina, he is more than enough. 🙂

    Reverse culture shock is hard, but you will be OK.

    Hoping and praying for the best with your homestudy and all of that. And safe travels!

  2. Such a blessing to speak with you this morning. To hear you and your daughter’s voices and know you are safe and healthy. Thank you for speaking with Brooke and for meeting my Austin family. There are so many others here that I wish you to meet as well.

    I will be praying for your safe (and God willing brief) return as I miss you greatly but I long for you BOTH to be home, in God’s time, to pursue life as the family He has destined you to be! You and Mimae will be on my heart everyday as you go through this process. Please reach out if there is anything I can do to help! I love you!

    C

  3. Returning to your first “home” is so hard after being away! We recently returned to the US after five years abroad and I’m still adjusting and struggling with many of the issues that you mentioned. It’s great to be back but you will leave a big part of your heart in your other home too. Oh, and grocery shopping is one thing to avoid…WAY too many choices! I walk in and finally walk out two hours later!

  4. Another friend I know speaks of similar experience returning from Kenya. Realize that in Christ, you are constantly being changed into His likeness. He is in you/with you to guide you through this transition. Trust Him to speak to your heart and minister to you.

  5. i really really like having you in our home. really. a lot.

    can you imagine how much laughing we will do when m is here with us? i can’t wait.

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