When I came back from the Dominican I felt as if my heart was stretched from Mishawaka to my little mountain village, Los Higos. I remember fighting back tears as I looked at a photo of the preschoolers Brit, Selina, and I poured our hearts and souls into during our time there. There were times I felt my heart was going to snap, like a rubber band that is stretched that centimeter too far. As time went on and I readjusted to my life in the States, the moments of feeling stretched were less frequent, but certainly made thier appearance.
I did not realize that these moments would still happen when I travelled to Italy. In my silly mind I imagined that one could only miss a single continent at a time. To my surprise I was very wrong. I find myself missing people in the States, and being able to spend time with friends and family. God told me to keep my heart here, so that's what I am doing, but it ocassionally escapes my watchful eye and makes and elastic reach for the things of home. It is like an addict that needs it's fix of something familiar in this unfamiliar environment. I might compare myself to a fish that voluntarily jumped out of her tank, and finds herself missing that safe water at times.
During the stressful times here in Italy I desire something familiar, and now the Dominican and the States are both familiar things to me now. My heart leaps when I hear English and Spanish. I became instant friends with a couple Spanish speakers here and they laughed at the American, in Italy, speaking Spanish. At times pictures will pop up of the Dominican, and I am amused that the place that was once unfamiliar is now something I think of as a safe home to run to.
However, I am here, in Bergamo, Italy, and I must try with all my might to focus on the here and now and try to contain my elastic heart and aim it toward learning all I can while I am in Europe. God made my heart to love adventure, but He also made it to connect to other hearts. I will return to these familiar hearts soon, but for now I will work to keep it here with me, with my kids, and one day I will feel the elastic chords of my heart pull my thoughts towards Bergamo, and the precious to-be-made memories.
Peace in Christ