Coming to Bangkok was never my dream. While many of the expats we encountered in our time overseas lived for adventure and loved to travel, I never really cared much for that. Instead I have always longed for the deep relationships that only come from staying planted in one place for years.
Which is why my sadness over leaving took me by surprise. If I’m being honest, I am pretty excited about this upcoming move. It feels like the perfect fit for our family. While there is a lot that is unknown, God has already begun clearing a path for us. On top of that, I never really loved living in Bangkok, and I often missed my friends and life back home. Yet, for the entirety of our last day in BKK, I felt myself getting all teary-eyed thinking about leaving this place. With every “last” came a deeper twinge of sadness.
Last massage, last pedicure, last trip to “our mall”. Last brunch with this friend, last dinner with that friend. Last time we would eat at this table. Last time with our beloved, although once hated by me, dog. The goodbyes got progressively harder, and my sadness grew deeper with each one.
As I thought through how strange these feelings were, I realised that this had in fact become home for us. And while this wasn’t my dream life, it had been a pretty good reality for our family. There were people here we loved, and places that were special to us. Bangkok marked one of the biggest steps of obedience we had ever taken as a family, and God had been so faithful to us throughout our time here.
And while we are going back to what really feels like home, saying good-bye was hard. Really, really hard.
Leaving our friends, home and favorite places behind brought an outpouring of tears I did not expect. And that dang dog ya’ll. Although I couldn’t stand her, or any dog for that matter just a few short months ago, she had become part of our family. Saying good-bye to her felt like leaving a piece of our heart in Thailand. (I cannot even believe I wrote that people. Seriously. Who have I become?!?!? I need an intervention.)
I know we will see many of our Bangkok friends again. I am excited to see our old friends in South Carolina. I look forward to getting to know some new ones, in Nashville. I am also looking forward what God does in our family and ministry with this next step of obedience. But for today, and maybe for a few more days, I am just going to be okay with the sadness. While it is a bit more than I had imagined it being, the tears remind me that God built connections here. I wouldn’t be sad if there was nothing to leave behind. So, I am thankful for the sadness and the good it represents. And while the U.S. will always feel like home to me, I will miss Bangkok and the life we built there with shaky hands and hesitant hearts.
God was the one who called us there, and He is the one calling us back. He gave us such a sweet community, some friendships that will remain forever, and a worldview that can never be diminished. God did things both big and small in our lives and in our hearts in the Land of Smiles, and we will forever look back on our time there as an Ebenezer of His faithfulness.