Friday, June 8, 2012

Living in Paradox

Nate mentioned a few posts ago that our MTI training introduced us to the important concept of a "pair of ducks". With every big transition, we experience paradoxical feelings - positive and excited feelings and difficult, hard feelings. To represent this paradox, we have two ducks - a "yay duck" and a "yuck duck". The yay duck represents the positive feelings we're experiencing and the yuck duck represents the sad, hard feelings that we feel at the same time.

When we were visiting Manitou Springs last weekend, we stumbled on a great discovery - a rubber ducky store! So we picked up these two ducks to represent our "yays" and our "yucks". When we're struggling with paradoxical feelings, we can use this concept to discuss and explain how we're feeling.

As we've been processing our yays and our yucks these past few weeks at MTI, here are some of the feelings I've been experiencing:

YAY DUCKS
  • After anticipating our move to Austria for over 3 years, I'm excited to finally take the next step!
  • I'm eager to learn about Austrian culture and to develop relationships with Austrians.
  • Being able to communicate in another language is something I've always longed to do.
  • After living in transition for a year, we look forward to finally settling down somewhere and having a place of our own.
  • We are excited to join our WorldVenture team and to meet other missionaries in Vienna!
  • We feel that God has clearly called us to Austria. We're eager to move closer to our calling there. 

YUCK DUCKS
  • We have to say goodbye to family and friends, knowing we may not see them for 3 - 4 years or more.
  • We have to start over with building community in a new place that is completely foreign.
  • I'm afraid to learn a new language, knowing it will be hard and I will make LOTS of mistakes.
  • I will be stripped of my identity in all of the areas where I now feel competent. 
  • We hope to raise children overseas. It's scary and sad to think that our kids will grow up without their grandparents close by and that I will learn to be a mom with my own mother far away.
Both of these lists could go on. It's been really helpful for me to acknowledge the existence of both categories, rather than focusing on one or the other. It's ok to feel excited and heartbroken about the transition all at the same time.

When have you experienced a "pair of ducks" in your life?