Okay, so something strange happened with the photos I posted. They're all distorted. I think my computer hates me. So sorry about that. If you really actually want to see them, just click on it and it'll come up clearer. Forgive my technological disabilities.

Soul Mate #2

So....photography. It's my second soul mate. I met my passion for writing first. You've already gotten a glimpse into that. So here it goes. Bloggers....meet Soul Mate #2......hope you hit it off!

Beautiful Child

Fisherman on the Lagoon

Coconut Grove Tidepools

My Mother's Footprints

I couldn't decide which was best

Capturing the Real African Beauty

Oh Afrique

Grains of Sand

Here Shall Your Proud Waves Halt


My Church

Another Restless Soul

Mother and Child

My Mother's Hands (catching the light on a painting in Morocco)

Hope you enjoyed your little peek. Remember, these were taken with a little digital Nikon....don't judge too harshly!


Forewarning: This isn't going to have a positive outcome. This post isn't going to be about something I learned. I didn't have an "Aha" moment. I didn't get a life-lesson. I'm not going to be optimistic today because to be honest.....today....I am hurting.
I thought I was done with feeling like this. I thought that ache that works its way through every facet of my soul until I can't breathe was gone.
Maybe....just maybe I was free from it. But this week has been so hard.
Let me give you some back ground. I am at the CMF Furlough Retreat. A retreat for furloughing missionaries here in Indianna...and they asked me to help with the children's program.
I was worried about how it would feel. Instead of being the MK, I was the one teaching them. I thought, "Oh, this will be fine. I will be giving back. After all I always appreciated my teachers." but then I got my name tag. And it said "Emma Jones. Teacher."
And it broke my heart. It was like one last kick in the gut. The final nail in the coffin. I wanted so badly for it to say "Emma Jones. Ivory Coast."
I wanted to be able to sit with all of the other missionaries and feel that common bond. I wanted it all to be the way it was.
But it's not.
I am the outsider. The odd one out....again. And it hurts so much.....too much. I want to go home. I want to go back to where I felt like I was 100% myself. I want to be with the people who know me better than anyone. I want to be able to walk over to my best friend's house and sit in her yard for hours eating mangoes and talking about nothing and everything.
I want to feel okay again. I feel like if I remake my identity....if I redefine who I am then I will lose who I was. I'll lose my roots. My old life. The thing that defined me for so long.
Sometimes I look at my necklace....the one that says "Afrika Gurl" and I feel like I am a hypocrite. And I *hate* it! I want it to be true again. I can't stand going home like I am visiting. I can't stand the way things change and I can't be a part of it. I hate feeling so jealous of those who get to be there when I can't. I hate feeling homesick for a home I can never have again. I hate it!
It's all fading. The memories and becoming a blur. I couldn't remember what Abou looked like....and he was one of my best friends in the world. I couldn't remember what nickname Dalal used to call me. And I feel so, so guilty all of the time. Like I am letting them down.
My heart is breaking. Janvier died and I couldn't even go to his funeral. Elo passed her BAC and I couldn't be there to celebrate. Every year another Christmas comes and goes and I can't stay up till all hours dancing with them.
I can't have that life anymore but I can't let go. It hurts too much to let go. It hurts too much to hold on. I just *hurt* all of the time and I feel so alone all of the time.
Don't get me wrong, I have friends here and they are amazing people but...they all grew up together. Their parents have game nights together and double dates. They knew each other in kindergarten. No matter how long I am here, no matter how close we get....we'll never have that bond. I will *always* be the new kid. I will always be a little less important. A little less well known. And I don't have the option of having friends like that anymore.
I left all of those people behind. And I can't even go see them. I think the fact that the summer is ending and the reality of me not being able to go home is sinking in.
I just need to see them again. I need to know that they're still there and that I can still slip right back in with them....but I am so scared. What is going to happen when one day I go back and they are all married with kids...when Grandmama is dead and buried, when people I don't know are working in the Clinic, when those little kids I taught are all grown up....what happens when home doesn't feel like home anymore?
What am I supposed to do then? I know God never gives you things you can't handle but.....I don't know *how* to handle this.
I can't make the hurt stop no matter what I do.