I met up with two Engage team leaders last week for lunch. This was our topic of conversation. We each spent time alone in Hong Kong after our team left. It was so strange to be wandering a mall alone, eating at restaurants without having to consider people's eating habits, or making sure no one was petting stray dogs. From living in a community of five girls in a small room sharing a bathroom -- to now sitting in an apartment with me, myself, and I.
It has been great hearing how everyone's transition home is going well. Some are going through reverse culture shock more than others. While others have chose to almost forget their time in Asia as something that will really impact who they are. Sadly, in a few months, I can already imagine them sitting in their room crying their eyes out by themselves...I am cruel. Thing is, Asia ruined me the first time I stepped off that plane thinking I was going there to "serve" its people. Rather, the Father took that opportunity to show me who I really was beyond who I have built myself to be on this world.
There are typically four stages of culture shock: 1) “YAY!” 2) “What was I thinking?!” 3) “I can do this...maybe...” 4) “It’s beginning to feel like home.” I left Cambodia in June, in the stage called "What was I thinking?!" and have come back to it in August at "I can do this...maybe...". People always tell me that year one is that hardest and to let year two dictate whether long-term is the thing the Father is calling me to be part of. Yes, two years isn't long-term at all in my mind.
What scares me the most right now is thinking if I would ever reach "It's beginning to feel like home." before I make the decision to stay "forever". While I am afraid that Cambodia ends up being home after I make the decision of 'never again', what happens if I really do fall in love and the Father calls me to make it home, "forever".