I want to burn my wardrobe... (What missionaries really think during re-entry)

{Written a few days before I left the Congo to head back to America}


It’s the moment you look down are notice your “white shirt” isn’t white anymore, that your “black pants” are now your “grey pants” and somehow 3 of your favorite tops are now see-through. You hold up your thin cotton outfit and debate how the holes got there. Was it a bug? Standard wear? Can dust mites do this??

….Any other missionaries hear me? (And the chorus chimes in ;) )

I don’t know how everything is so…altered. If all else fails, I blame the water. After all that’s what happened to my hair, right?

Thank JESUS for the Moroccan Oil that my sweet teammate brought me in Congo to try and fix my severely damaged locks before the trek back to Los Angeles.


I’m in transition, emotionally preparing for the journey of war lords to high heels, and letting you in on the process.


These are the moments when I joke that I’m not a very “good” missionary. I really love pretty things. And I hate moo-moos. Last month, I went several dinners without food so I could splurge on an outrageously expensive InStyle Magazine. (that I’ve now memorized cover to cover) It happens. I love looking at the pictures of the beautiful boots when my feet have seen nothing but flip flops for… a long time.


But soon it’ll happen. In two weeks from now I will dote a dress and some stunning shoes, I will curl my hair and spray a little perfume and I will attend the wedding of two of my gorgeous friends saying “I do”. Among the crowd, I’ll look like everyone else. Nobody will stop and stare. Nobody will point and shout “Foreigner!! Look, there’s a foreigner!!!!” (lol)

Nobody will guess that I dine with soldiers, that my kids carried AK-47’s or that I had a small greenhouse of parasites living inside of me just weeks beforehand.


I know it sounds strange, but that’s the weirdest feeling for me. For the first couple weeks I always feel like I stick out like a sore thumb, that everyone can see it. Though all the food we could dream for is now at our fingertips, they’ll know something is up and that I don’t see dinner, I see the faces of those whom I just held, dying of malnutrition.


I’ll smile politely as I meet a stranger and they ask “And what do you do for a living?” A quick evaluation of the situation, do they really want to hear how our kids are being abducted? Or how our mama’s are used as pin-cushions in a war of sexual violence? “I work in development,” I’ll say with a smile. My safety net until transition passes.


Sometimes that’s just the feeling. The feeling that you could possibly be the square peg trying to fit into some wedge boots.




(Can I hear that chorus again?)


Now, part of me doesn’t mind it. It’s actually quite beautiful. To have the privilege of living between such opposite worlds in attempts to bring more life to one and awareness to the other. Living for love, in the big picture kind of way. It’s just the initial change between the two secretly feels, really awkward. Haha.


Don’t worry, the feeling goes away. Along with the jet lag, you eventually fit into a new routine and the heels don’t feel quite so high.


But until the passes, don’t say I didn’t warn you! Missionaries in transition… The awkward jokes, the epically long hot showers, the excitement over super soft Kleenex and the random foreign languages that occasionally pop out of our mouths… it happens. So when you see us wide-eyed, staring strangely into your refrigerator, don’t worry, just give us grace and well, maybe some ice cream.