The End

23 Jul

I’ve left Korea. The goodbyes have been said, the bags were packed, and the forty hours and fourteen minutes spent in transit are thankfully, blessedly, joyfully over.

Goodbye, Korea…ready for take off in Incheon.

Though leaving was admittedly not as difficult as I thought it would be, the past several days have left me somewhat (understandably) emotionally battered. Re-entry has been valuable to process what I experienced over the course of a very long year, despite my jet lag and occasional unwillingness to see it that way. In one of our sessions we broke off into groups and talked about our greatest joys and greatest struggles over the year of service. Our group was conveniently made up of SALTers back from Asia. The struggle for a lot of those in our group was loneliness, or unsureness about where we stood with other people in our respective countries of service. It was painful to talk about, yet something we knew no one could understand as deeply as those in that room. But then we talked about our joys. For many it was the joy of a single class group, or a single person with whom a relationship ended up giving more life than previously expected. My joy was knowledge of the unbending love I received from Christ. No matter where I stood with people, it was always clear to me that, so long as I came before him with humility, my status before Jesus remained unchanged.

Ephesians 3:17-19: I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

A song that played in my head on repeat the last few months was Your Love Never Fails: “I know I still make mistakes, but you have new mercies for me every day.” How true that was on service! I’ll be the first to admit I made a lot of mistakes this year. For the first time in my life I questioned very basic tenets of my faith, which meant I was also questioning the basics about who I am individually. But in the end I say that I may change, but He stays the same through the ages.

I am bowled over by such love. I am truly in awe.

After many group sessions, heart-to-hearts, laughs, cries, naps, and ice cream binges later – oh, and a talent show which I apparently co-hosted and possibly danced in –  re-entry is finished.

Except that now I face the very surreal prospect of re-entering back into “real” life very soon. First there’s the short vacation to D.C., but after that it’s back to Canada, to family, to my old haunts. I’m standing on a precipice of new possibility, more future uncertainty, and yet more assurance that God will guide me wherever I choose to lay my foot next. And for that I am excited.

Thanks to each and every one of you who prayed for me this year. I can say things like, “What a journey it’s been!”, or “Without your support I wouldn’t have made it,” but it’s hard to say those things without it sounding like a cliché. Just know they’re true, as I finish off with the only words I have left:

It has been an honour. God bless you.

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2 Responses to “The End”

  1. Natasha July 27, 2013 at 12:28 AM #

    I love everything you write Deborah. You are wise, witty, and talented. I love you so much and can’t wait to hear all the stories you have to share from this past year! XOXOXO

    • Deborah July 28, 2013 at 1:00 AM #

      Thanks my dear! I’m so excited for the story exchange! Love you too.

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