Wednesday, April 11, 2012


ret-ro-spect |ˈretrəˌspekt|
a survey or review of a past course of events or period of time.
(From New Oxford American Dictionary)

Last year around this time, we were in HK realizing that perhaps we would be headed back to the states. Joseph's did some contracting at the airport, and we were able to look into a potential job field which after some inspection turned out to be something that would not work well due to lack of management in a part of the world where management and organization aren't really highly valued but are very important when one is working on repairing an airplane.

Joseph arrived in HK first, and found out he would have a few days off. We hadn't had a vacation in two years. So he saved up his stipend, and asked me if I could get a few days off of work. Whoo-hoo! I could. So off to HK I flew. And it was NICE. Did I say it was nice? After being exposed to pollution of all sorts--both coal, cigarette smoke, and spitting people --it was strange to be treated with courtesy in HK.

BJ airport is a direct replica of HK airport except HK airport is cleaner, has English speakers, and is not dreadfully cold. I had some fun with mirrors in the Swatch store, and Joseph wanted to get a closer peek at what I was doing.

After we realized this job in HK wasn't going to work, there was some initial disappointment. We'd worked hard: Joseph had studied in language school, and I'd been teaching to pay for his language lessons. We'd invested our lives into dear friends. It became clear that we were going to need to transition again. Our year had been full of change: we'd moved to a different apartment, I'd switched jobs, I had surgery, and Joseph had job interviews and beat the bush for more opportunities.

There is the moment when you realize what you thought life would be, the ideal, has to be let go of. And there is also the space of time you realize that even though it didn't turn out how you expected it to, life is infinitely better than you deserve, and so much more wonderful than you thought it could be. It's when the 'what if' doesn't get let go of, and the 'why' gets asked and the nostalgia makes the past seem so much better than the present that the inevitable complaining begins.

But I remember. The prayers we said in hopes of finding something suitable so we could transition to me having a part-time job instead of full time, the searching we did for Joseph to find a job, the 3 piece suit with tie (yes, my blue jean boy wore a suit), the companies we talked to, the general feeling that working in a technical field in this part of the world would be difficult, the perseverance of searching in spite of rejection.

And today, I can say we have so much more than we deserve. Sure, we've been asked questions like "Why did you leave?" or "Do you ever plan on going back?" We've both felt the sting of words hurled at us like we were failures. But we haven't failed. We were faithful. We were obedient. We put our own lives, our money, our future on the line. We trusted the Father through this adventure, just like we do here in the states. We're normal people doing what He wants us to. We'd do it again. Maybe we wouldn't choose to have some things happen to us, but we've changed. Sometimes going halfway around the world isn't so much about us, it's about changing us in the journey.

Have you taken any risks and been challenged, and changed?

"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates

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