Transitions from my country, “family” and culture into my other country, family and culture are always, for me, filled with a lot of emotions. I tell my one-year teams, “This will be the worst thing you can’t wait to have happen. And the most awesome thing you’ll ever feel so miserable about.”

One week from today I’m getting on an airplane, and then another airplane. My beloved little (ish) sister is getting married in just over three weeks, and I’d travel across the galaxy if I had to to be there. Then my roommate of the past 4 years here gets married 2 weeks later, also in my hometown.

It’s been nearly two years since I had my feet in the Land of the Free. I can’t wait to hug my Mama and feel my Dad’s arms around me. To see my sister in her wedding dress. To see my brother, his wife and their kids who are 2 years older, and maybe two feet taller. To see my other sister’s new house. To take my time in exotic destinations I’ve day-dreamed about for MONTHS, like…. Wegmans. To eat a burrito! Or a sandwich with avocado on it!!

I’ve missed my family, my friends, my people, my culture, my foods. I’m coming home.

But before I taste the sweet goodness of a real Taco Bell Chalupa (you think I’m crazy, but anyone who’s spent time overseas knows what I’m talking about…), I have to hug dozens of crying friends goodbye. I will sleep in my bed one last night. Hold hands with Sam all the way to airport security, and then both crying, I’ll have to let go and walk away.

I hate those parts. I dread them. On the same days I’ve ordered bridesmaid dresses I’ve let tears run and run unable to stop them.

This is my home, too.

I leave behind my normal. My inside jokes. My towels. My closest friends. My church. Our group of FORTY-TWO brothers and sisters whom I’ve loved, laughed with, prayed for, served and discipled.

Over the last couple weeks Sam, our leaders, and I looked at the various logistics of his preparation to come study in the States, and made the call to give him more time to prepare here and aim for the winter semester starting in January instead. The pros are many, and I feel great about the decision. We knew when we started that we were really pushing it trying for August, and the hurdles and pressure made it an easy decision.

For me this means I’ll come home for the two weddings, and have a couple weeks after to connect with people. Then sometime mid to late August I’ll hug a lot of people I love goodbye, cry, get on a plane, get on another plane, and come home to Asia again.

I’ll get to dig into some awesome seasonal assignments, help Sam ace the TOEFL, and then our plan is to for me to be home for Christmas for the first one in five years! I won’t have to cry when I hear “White Christmas” this year! Waaaaaaahooooooo! It’s going to be amazing!

And sad too….. more goodbyes, for a season, for the sake of precious hellos.