Most days I love being here, love being in Nigeria, even when power is bad, internet is slow and general customs that I don’t understand drive me crazy.
Sometimes I just want to be near my family, near my friends… near a grocery store with buy one, get one free sales, well lit aisles and frozen pizzas, somewhere where I don’t have to wonder if I should buy 5 gallons of milk if I see non-powdered milk in the store because it probably won’t be available for the next four months….
But mostly near family and friends.
When I was younger, I had this Walton-esque daydream (“Good night, John Boy…. Good night, Grandpa.”) of several generations of family living in the same house, or at least the same neighborhood. Sometimes old daydreams die hard because tonight, heck, I’d settle for the same country.
This is where God called us, at least for right now, and most days I am so grateful and humbled that He would allow us to be here, amazed that He brought us to this place.
But today, well, today I just feel sort of heavy with loss, heavy with “could be’s.” The fact that our internet has been absolute garbage lately doesn’t help (Anyone noticed the silence on our blog?), making me feel isolated when I can’t even open my e-mail or post a picture of Judah and Jovelle for Grandpa and Grandma. Today I want Judah and Jovelle to be close to their grandparents. I want them to get to hang out with their cousins. And, as shallow as it might sound, I want a house with a basement somewhere where there are four seasons. I want to have Sunday dinners with family, to not wonder if I will have regrets about not being near them if something were to happen. I don’t want two week visitations; I want to share daily lives.
…Of course, sharing daily lives isn’t necessarily the reality when you live in the same state as someone, either. Lives get busy with family, church, work, school and sometimes just surviving; proximity doesn’t guarantee closeness. Whether one is an ocean apart, a town apart or across the street, deliberateness is necessary, vital, even, to have that closeness. (Of course, proximity doesn’t hurt! Some of our closest friends probably would never have become our closest friends if we had not lived next to them for years – and oh how we miss them! I loved the ease of our friendship, loved sharing life (and washing machines, freezers, cars, babysitting, stories and dinners!) with them. I sometimes feel like that was the closest thing to the church in Acts that I will ever experience, and I often find myself longing for that again, too.)
Anyway. Sorry this post is a bit of a downer (Man, and my next run-in with the internet was going to include a post about mangoes! Guess that one will have to wait.). I hoped to transition into something that was at least a LITTLE bit optimistic, something that made some biblical connection or gave some biblical encouragement, something that wouldn’t leave my Grandma thinking I’d gone off the deep end ;), but…. Maybe after a good night’s sleep and some fresh perspective.
For now, though, I just want to be near my family.
And I guess I wouldn’t mind a 24 hour Wal-Mart, either.