Saturday, May 9, 2015

Two Sides of the Coin

I can't win.

That's what it always feels like and how I often describe to my friends what it's like to have my heart in two places - Czech and the States. I just can't win. Though it's a beautiful thing too at times.

Josiah Venture is having their annual May conference this week, and I wish I could be there. Words fail to express how much I care about that group of people, and how precious it was to grow up within that community, even though it stretched across a dozen countries. I've been in touch with my mom this week, receiving prayer requests, but also hearing praises for how the Lord has worked at this conference. All of these missionaries are being refreshed, encouraged, and equipped to continue in their work. And 107 kids are there bonding, learning and growing together too! Yes, my heart longs to be there.

(Photo from Mom!)

Yet life is here too.

I went out for morning coffee with the "Fantastic 4" (the four freshman who came in together 2 years ago onto the same floor...cliche, but it's stuck) before heading to work at Plum Market. I demoed (a.k.a. sampled) my favorite gluten-free blondies, brownies and pecan bars today, so I got to share tasty treats with customers, which was my joy. Giving samples is fun.

I even got to meet two older ladies while demoing - a mom (who was 87!) and daughter who both spoke Czech with each other, which immediately caught my attention. I interrupted said something immediately and got to talk with them in Czech for probably more than 10 minutes. The mom had lived in New York for 43 years, and the daughter for 20, and they had both moved to Chicago to be closer to family a year and a half ago. I got to tell them a little of my story, and the mom called me "Kl├írinka" - the endearing form of Claire in Czech. Only a Czech grandma would ever call me that, and it was ever so sweet to chat with them. We even exchanged e-mails and phone numbers, so maybe I'll get to see them again?

My evening consisted of tagging along with a buddy of mine who's graduating in a week, who had way more energy than she knew what to do with. We pranced to the bookstore, and watched squirrels in the plaza, and went to our campus' improv-group show, "iNfoRmaL". It's exciting that this friend has finished well at Moody, but it's not only sad for me that she's leaving, but it's bittersweet for her too.

Rich, fulfilling and exciting life is in Czech and it's in Chicago. I can't win. I cannot be in two places at once. I can only live where God has placed me at a certain time. And I can praise Him for that. Yet my heart aches too as I continue to experience the push-pull motion of being a TCK at heart.

I think it will always be like this. Yet I praise Him for good gifts. 


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