Many moons ago...
Ok, in High School (which was a scary 8 years ago), I had a tremendously wonderful English teacher, Mrs. Means. One of the many things I remember learning from her classes was the cycle of the "Hero's Journey" in Literature. I don't remember all the little details, but what I do recall is her telling us that the "Homecoming" part of the Hero's Journey often tends to be the most difficult part. And, no, I'm not referring to that yearly football game you have weird dress up days for and play your toughest rival.
I have also thought of my life as sort of a "Heroine's" Journey, if you will, and find that indeed, the Homecoming is ALWAYS the most difficult...even more difficult than leaving at times.
I think I've experienced Homecoming moments to the highest degree in the past few years. Leaving for months at a time and returning to all the changes I realize is more difficult than expected. It's the point where I realize everyone I've known and loved...well, they're lives go on without me. It's the point where you realize how really unimportant (and that's an ok thing) I am. It's humbling, to say the least. But, what a joy to get over that Homecoming experience and finally just be home.
After one week of pondering the idea of "Homecoming," it nearly slipped out of my mind - I was enjoying being home so much that the difficulty of coming home seemed to disappear. I wouldn't have written about it except I thought it was an important part of the missionary's journey. A seed of understanding, germinating and I hope it will someday come to fruition. Coming home...even when I've only been in another state, just a 10 hour drive away, may be a difficult thing. It's when I choose to be home, that I find my place again.