Southwest Airlines and I was right back where I started four short months ago. Back on American soil…back to being surrounded by time-conscious people, endless good options, white skin, American accents, controlled roads, commercialism, breaking news, and the list goes on.
I was back… I am back. Back to where I started…or was I? I find myself continuously, “what am I going to do, how am I going to act, how will I think that’s different than the Emily that left Sacramento airport back in August?”
I’ve already been noticing the small differences in my mannerisms compared to the typical integrated American. Greetings are practically non-existent and if they do happen…short and sweet. I found myself lingering when handling boarding passes or signing receipts and those serving me saying something like “you’re good” as if to send me on my way. I’ve yet to find it offensive…just different.
While I can’t wait to see and be back in life at home and watch how it goes and doesn’t change, I am fearful for myself… I fear reintegration to some degree. I fear pride and arrogance and a self-absorbed attitude…subtly thinking “It’s all about my amazing experience and what I learned. You should be benefiting from my words and thoughts”.
At our debriefing sessions in Entebbe, I took note that instead of expecting everyone to have grace with me in my transition, I need to be having grace with them and meeting them where they are at. It’s a lot easier said than done, however. I pray to God that while I continue to struggle, grow, learn, and be challenged, that this will also be a smooth and loving Christmas season as I reunite with friends and family one group at a time and one step at a time.
To any USPer’s who may be reading this, I will be asking the Lord for the same thing for you.
God has blessed me more than I even know and I owe Him an attitude that brings glory to His name. It’s the very least I can do in expression of my gratefulness.
Tears of joy well up inside me as I realize all of this. I left home, went and live in Ugandan and now I am back. I am home.
From everlasting to everlasting, Faithful is the Lord Almighty.