Bird on a Bare Branch

Attempting to fling a frail song in my little corner of the world

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do July 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 11:42 am

(Began writing on July 8.)

A year ago I spent a long weekend in Swaziland, breaking up with the man I had been dating for over a year.  We had actually broken up over the phone a few weeks earlier, having amazingly and by God´s grace, come to that decision mutually.  The Swaziland trip had been in the works for awhile, and we decided to go ahead with it so we could say good-bye in person since we lived half a country apart.

Needless to say, the trip was bittersweet.  Swaziland itself was beautiful and the trip was a much-needed break for both of us.  But looming over us the whole time was the hard reality that it was our last African adventure together, that our good-bye at the airport, which we were so accustomed to in our long-distance relationship, would be the final one.

Flying into Beira yesterday felt very much like flying to Maputo a year ago to make that Swazi trip.  I´m in Beira now so that Mozambique and I can break up.  We did it over email eight months ago, but we thought it would be best to say good-bye in person.

When a dating relationship comes to an end, disappointment feels so strong because there´s always that hope that the relationship will last.  We don´t enter relationships on a one- or two-year contract, preparing ourselves for the end date.

Finding out I couldn´t return to Mozambique was not a disappointment because I was necessarily called specifically to this country or a people group here.  Those who´ve followed my journey know it wasn´t easy or amazing here.  I didn´t love Mozambique or Mozambicans more than I would have loved any other people group.  But I was committed long term, which made the difference.  Sure I had signed an initial 18-month contract but always with the intention of and knowledge that I could extend.  I had hopes for and envisioned a future beyond the 18 months.

So I´m going through my days loving the comfort and familiarity of this place, speaking Portuguese, surprising friends and colleagues with my unannounced visit, celebrating marriages and babies´births from the last year, drinking way too much Coke, and hoping I´ll have at least one afternoon to lie on the beach.  But every morning I wake up knowing I´m one day closer to that final departure.  I sit on the chapas and wander through town with an ache in my chest knowing I have to say good-bye.

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