As our family thinks ahead to going back to Thailand, we’ve entered in to that weird transitionary stage that comes at the end of home assignment (furlough). We’re still here in the States, but our days are numbered. Our thinking has begun to shift.
Any missionary who has gone through this experience should be able to identify with many of following signs that home assignment is coming to a close.
You know that home assignment is over when...
- Instead of buying more food, you start eating that box of food in the cupboard that you haven’t touched in months
- The deciding factor in making new purchases is whether you can take it with you
- All of a sudden, lots of people want to get together with you
- You immediately say “No” to all events and invitations after a certain date
- You stop replacing broken items because you think, “We can put up with it for another month”
- You feel justified in eating your favorite foods because, “Hey, I won’t get a chance to have this for another four years”
- You start to get tired of your own stories because you’ve told them so many times
- You have a low level anxiety about how much of the local language you’ve forgotten while you’ve been away
- You hope people don’t think you’re suicidal just because you are giving away so many of your worldly possessions
- The passage of time suddenly accelerates as d-day (departure day) looms large on the calendar, eclipsing all other dates