I am sitting here drinking a cup of Prince of Wales tea and thinking about the fact that I have been home, in America, for two whole months.
I can not believe it.
Even though there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Papua New Guinea, I am finally starting to feel slightly grounded…maybe. Normal, no. Settled, yes. I’ll explain more in a bit. Had you asked me two months ago I would have told you I would be fine and settled in in no time flat, never would I have imagined that it would be as hard as it was to get to where I am today, and still I feel that I am in a dream in Inception where things keep changing.
So, I said I would explain. I don’t feel normal and what I mean by that is I don’t feel normal as I would have been normal pre-PNG…I don’t think I will ever be the same Megan I was before. A lot happened while I was away that changed who I am. I will to try to explain it where it makes sense but beware it all becomes a game of Jenga, the further I go the more precarious it will get. The easiest way is to start by giving individual words and go from there.
It was an exceptional spiritual environment. The Wells did family devotions every morning at 7:30, discussing together the chapter we read, Brad explaining things in detail. I loved that! Throughout the days there were impromptu conversations about spiritual matters, it was easy to bring up a thought, concern or question. At 3 p.m. Revival Hour, the alarms on our phones would go off, we would pray mid-whatever we were doing (yes, even while driving!) and pray together or go find our own place and pray for revival… in our hearts, the churches, and America. This was a special thing that helped to bind us together. I would say that the Wells home could be likened to the EAC dude (East Australian Current for all you non-Nemo fans.) Being in their home helped to strengthen me in areas that I had become weak. It stabilized me, helped me regain my focus on what was important. Brad would ask questions that forced me to think about things that I had not given a second thought to. Deborah would challenge me with a thought that would encourage me to step up in my Christian life. Even the kids would delve into discussions about things that surprised me when it came to spiritual matters.
I have always prided myself… “I am not an emotional girl!!” Except, deep down I am just like the rest of you, but…I try to hide it. I don’t like or want anyone to see me cry. I don’t want anyone to know my negative emotions. You know when I am happy but NOT when I am sad. I will pretend until the day I die that I am fine and cry behind closed doors.
I experienced some rough emotions. I know that God allows everything for a reason, having gone through it will help me understand others. I can now have patience when before I wasn’t so kind. Also, I needed to experience what it was like to feel completely and utterly broken. I had never felt that way before, I had never known what it was to hurt that way and I DID NOT like it one bit but it drew me so close to my Father and in that I am thankful.
The church of Bible Truth Baptist was so wonderful. They made me feel welcome from the get go. I was family and they let me know it. David and Nancy lived on the station and their 3 little girls; Betty, Nadya, and Melissa, who are absolutely adorable. I made a special connection with Betty and would talk to her often, she would find me in church and give me hugs and say hi to me anytime I would pass her on the station.
Ma Julie made me two Meri Blouses that weren’t the best quality but she gave them with love and that meant a lot to me and made me feel special.
Les and Betty Daniels and their daughters, Janamaya, Selah, and Maddy. I taught Jana for awhile in school and then continued to monitor her schooling after she took it home. Betty was a sweet friend and Jana would always give me hugs and the biggest smiles.
I also made a special friend Marcia, she was my age and we hit it off from the get go. She had gotten saved just a few months before I arrived. Marcia would pray with me on Wednesday nights and share what the Lord was doing in her life. I had asked her to work with me on my pidgin and she spent an afternoon after church one Sunday helping me. One Wednesday I told her I had something I was going to tell her that night in pidgin and I gave my testimony in church, she was beaming. On Thanksgiving I received the news that Marcia passed away. My heart hurts and I am so sad at the loss of such a sweet friend. She was very dear to me and I will never forget her. Praise the Lord that this last year of her life she had found Him whom her soul loveth!
Jennifer, Amy, Charity, Johanna, Torrey, Emily, Marshall – I could go on and on about how much I adore these guys but I am pretty sure you all already know that I love them to pieces!
Because of these people and so many more, I will never be the same.
🔸Being removed from everything that is familiar.
🔸Making a new life.
🔸Trying to live in a culture that makes no sense.
🔸Fitting into a family that doesn’t do things the way you do.
🔸Attending a church that is different.
🔸Eating new food.
🔸Learning a new language
The process of adapting to all sorts of new and different things is daunting. I had two ways I could have gone about it. Kicking & screaming or go with it. I chose to go with it. Let go. My motto was “Adapt and Overcome.” I decided that this was my life now. No looking back. No trying to live in both worlds. Jump in! (Because of that, coming home was really hard. I wasn’t ready. Remember I had let go). Had I known at the time that I was only going to be there for 8 months and not the 2 years I had planned on I might not have stressed so much about all the “letting go” but even in that I think that it was good for me.
I don’t mean lonliness, (although there were times of lonliness). I mean being alone. I became aware of who I am. I had time by myself to read, think, study, meditate on the Word. I discovered things about myself just by slowing down and really taking life in general at a nicer pace. I liked that. I find the pace of life back here in the States so overwhelming even today two months later. I still haven’t melded back into liking it again and I don’t think I ever will (hopefully.) I kind of like that that has changed about me. 🙂
This fish has jumped the fishbowl!
I can see a bigger picture than just Idaho, Treasure Valley Baptist Church, and *gasp* Independent Baptist. No, I don’t mean I believe differently. I do realize though that there is more than the tiny world I have seen my whole life. I can get along with people. I can reach outside my box and comfort zone and actually make a difference. I can minister to people if I stop looking at myself and trying to get my needs met. I can fellowship with someone who might believe a little different (I’m not talking heresy.) This world needs Christ, not Christians living for self or arguing theories. Seeing the bigger picture CHANGED ME.
Some of the things that took place inside me words just can’t describe. As many of you know, when a change takes place it’s usually gradual and you aren’t even aware of it at the time. Only when I look back at who I was before and who I am now can I see the differences. However I cannot explain all of them.
I have a newly plowed field that I am staring at and it’s exciting to get to plant it!
I cannot fully express my gratitude to my Father for all the things that I learned as a result of the eight months He gave me in Papua New Guinea. It is a time I will never forget. It truly changed not just the course of my life but who I am. He gave it to me as a gift. He has something in store for me in the future that this experience has given me the tools for.
God has a lot of molding and shaping to do but He is the Master Potter. My desire is to be a vessel that He can and will use.
*I must confess, it has taken me 6 days to write this. I started with tea and am ending with a cup of coffee (hey, it helps me think!)
“All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain!”
~I am His and He is mine!