Well. Here is a post I never thought I’d be writing. After a tremendous amount of stress, sleepless nights, floor pacing, time in a counselor’s office, prayer, and conversation, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot go to Thailand right now. Maybe not ever. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly:
The Good: We’re Not Going to Thailand. When we finally came to the conclusion that we cannot go to Thailand, I was overwhelmed with a sense of relief. I wanted to go to Thailand. I wanted to experience living overseas as a family. I wanted to live a life of radical discipleship and obedience to Jesus Christ, and I thought that included Thailand. But, the process of getting to Thailand was excruciatingly painful for me and I was not handling it well. I kept comparing it to childbirth: The waves of pain just kept coming and coming but, in this case, there was no epidural in sight. Leaving my family behind. Leaving my home behind. Facing financial uncertainty. Facing uncertainty regarding my children’s education. Facing uncertainty regarding my emotional and spiritual health. It was all piling up and the pain was becoming unbearable. So I am relieved that we are not going.
The Bad: We’re Not Going to Thailand. I am overwhelmed with a sense of sadness. We have talked about going to Thailand for a long time. We planned. We studied maps. We developed relationships with our teammates and dreamed about working together. We tried Thai food and practiced Thai phrases. We prayed. We asked for direction. We hoped. And now we are giving up the dream. Laying it down with no intentions of picking it back up anytime soon, if ever. We are grieving the death of this dream. The idea of leaving was painful. The idea of staying also brings pain.
The Ugly: We’re Not Going to Thailand. I am angry. Also, embarrassed. We were deep into the process of getting to Thailand. We raised funds, made promises, led people to believe that we were fully committed to this mission. And we were. To “pull the plug” on this opportunity this late in the process is awful. But, that’s what we’ve done. I feel guilty. I feel inadequate. I feel like I failed at being a faithful, obedient follower of Jesus Christ. Yet, the happy, lighthearted, hopeful feelings are close behind the sad stuff. I’m certain I’ve never experienced such a contrast of emotions.
As you can probably see, I am not going into the details on all that went into this decision. Please, understand that this decision has been an agonizing one to make, and we did not make it lightly. But I am certain that we made the right decision for our family.
What are the next steps? We’re not sure. For now, we remain in my beloved hometown where we’ll stay for awhile as we consider our options. For those of you reading this who are praying people, I would be so grateful if you would pray for my family as we pick up the pieces of this complicated puzzle, and attempt to regain some sense of normal life. We are sad, yet happy. Disappointed, yet hopeful. Most of all, we are learning to trust God for all that we cannot see right now.