Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are. ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
The last time I wrote on our blog was last April. Too long. In a nutshell, I didn’t know what to share. I couldn’t muster up the courage to be completely honest about the very low point I had reached, or how to adequately describe all that we were experiencing in those last few months. As a good friend here confirmed, “Most of us didn’t fully realize how much stress we were under until we left.”
Needless to say, our two month long summer vacation in California and Connecticut brought us respite and restoration – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Visiting with family and friends – people who know us, love us and sent us off last October – helped rebuild the defeated walls of our hearts; each conversation, every prayer, each meal shared together re-erected, stone by stone, our strength of soul, spirit and mind. We were able to see the past year through different lenses and reconnect with the reason we chose to go and ultimately, with the conviction in our hearts of God’s purposeful leading for this season in our lives.
It is never easy to say goodbye, and I found myself saying, “See you next summer!” It was easier to swallow, knowing how swiftly the days and months pass by – for this reason, it is a good thing. However, after a poignant, late night conversation with my brother, his encouragement to seek out and capture in our memories the uniqueness, the good, and the beauty of this place has proven to be a lesson in slowing down and savoring this particular season in life. Indeed, we are on a beautiful journey.
“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ~Barbara Bloom
We discovered much last year on so many levels, we grew up just a little more. Our kids saw a world only read about in books, and this world has now become a part of their story. We have much to be thankful for. And as we drive around Bahrain for Round 2, we are quick to point out the beauty of the setting sun on the aqua-colored lagoon, the ripening dates on the palm trees in our small yard, and the tingling in our spirits of things yet to come.