Twisted Up Inside

If you are looking for something funny, or even something that has been spell-checked, click away now.  This is a hurried post, written in the last moments before we head to the airport to go back to South Korea.


Sometimes I question my sanity.  (Hey, now.  Be nice.  I’m allowed to question it, you are not.)

All week I’ve been vacillating between lump-in-my-throat sadness (at leaving our family for another 10 months), schoolgirl giddiness (at squeezing and kissing my nieces and hugging my brother and sister-in-law in Korea), extreme anxiety (at the thought of 20 hours of travel with wee ones), and abject helplessness (at the mountains and mountains of packing it takes to transport this family).

This storm of emotion has me up and down and all over the place, getting choked up and/or losing my temper at the littlest thing.

Oddly enough, that’s not the crazy part.

The crazy part is I like it.  I like this range of emotions, this deep, soul-moving melancholy.

Weird, right?

I was thinking about it today, as I drove around Pasadena, and looked at my kids, 2 of whom may not even remember this city when we come back next year. I was thinking about the other moments in my life when I’ve felt this way:

Moving into the dorms my freshman year of college.
Flying home from Spain after my semester abroad.
The day before my wedding.
The end of each pregnancy.
And, one year ago tomorrow, when we moved to South Korea.

I know why I like these roller coaster days.  It’s because these are the real memories, the days that stick with me in delicious and precise detail.  The moments when I feel completely alive, simultaneously broken and whole and anticipating what comes next in my life.

Some people do extreme sports to get a thrill.  I do extreme life changes.

At each and every one of these events, I felt emotional because I was vulnerable.  I let myself become exposed, all the while trusting that the plan God has for me would heal me and make me stronger than ever before.

Without a doubt, I was right.

I am far from perfect (oh, so very far), but I’d like to think I’m much stronger and more capable than I was last year. And each time I let myself open up, trust, and feel this range of emotions, I feel God working just a little deeper in my soul.  That, my friends, is what really feels incredible.  That is the real high.

Keep us in prayer.  We are about to embark upon 20 hours of travel.  Specifically, please pray for safety, smooth flights, and lots and lots of sleep.

This post is dedicated to Rosemarie Gorman, who passed away last Thursday.  She is a kind and generous soul, and much beloved by all who knew her.  May she rest in the peace of God’s arms and may her family be comforted in their sorrow.