How Do You Handle a Split Heart? – A Life Overseas

 

“How do you handle a split heart? What are the things you miss the most about your home country? What will you miss about your host country?”

Heidi Thulin wrote these words in a beautiful post called “To Love Two Places” over at A Life Overseas. I read it Friday afternoon – and knew it would resonate with so many of you. So I send you to A Life Overseas now – Take a few minutes on this Saturday to go over and share Heidi’s heart.

Here is an excerpt:

It’s been nine months now since the airplane’s wheels lifted off of our beloved Minnesota soil and I felt arrows of sorrow shoot through my chest. My heart was already heavy, burdened with the faces of goodbye, and I struggled to swallow as the mighty Mississippi River shrank into a ribbon and then disappeared behind a cloud.

And that was just the beginning of the heart pains.

Eight months ago, I took off my wedding ring and hid it away, because I didn’t want the streets of Nairobi to steal it from me. But my finger’s nakedness is still stark and shrill.

For three months, we rode matatus, those reckless, necessary public transit vans that added color and anxiety to our days. But despite the sunburns, blisters, and tears, we grew. We learned how to walk the streets like everybody else, we started to recognize the people we passed each morning, and we gained camaraderie with our fellow vehicle-less man. We started to belong

Now that we found a car and have settled into a sensible routine, the pain comes in a different way. The kite bird that caws like a seagull reminds me of our favorite vacation spot on the shore of Lake Superior. The still, warm evenings fill me with the longing to have a bonfire in a backyard covered with crackly leaves. And the road that circles our neighborhood ­­­­and serves as our nightly walking path makes me wish that the football field in the middle was a lake teeming with goslings and that my best friend was chatting beside me.

This homesickness sneaks up on me, startles me. Read more Here! 

“It’s a fine art, I’m realizing, to live in the present moment, to take each heart pain as it comes and pray that it won’t last long.”

Heidi Thulin moved to Kenya in October of 2012.

6 thoughts on “How Do You Handle a Split Heart? – A Life Overseas

  1. I look forward to skipping over to read this article in a moment but I wanted to say HERE that I was thinking about this the other day and thinking how wonderful heaven will be when we can finally be with every single person we love and be able to enjoy every place we’ve loved all at the same time.

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  2. Marilyn, our dear colleague Warren used to say that we, meaning missionaries, were like this: when in our passport country all we could think and talk about was our host country; when in our host country all we could think and talk about was our passport country AND we were happiest when going from one to the other! Thankfully our hearts can contain all the love we have for both and even overflows sometimes.

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