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The Emotional
Rollercoaster Of Furlough
By Erika Cisler
For a long while leading up to our first
furlough, I was so excited to go back to the
States. At one point, I even had to wrestle
with the Lord over the fact that my thoughts
were consumed with the upcoming trip rather
than with Him and the task to which He had
called me. Yet, as the days grew nearer, I was
surprised by an unexpected sentiment—dread.

I found myself thinking, “It was so hard to
leave the first time. I do not know if I want to
go through that again!” I also struggled with
the realization that no matter how much time
I had, it would never feel like enough. Thus
began the emotional rollercoaster I would ride
for the next eight months.

When we reached the States, I faced the
predictable sensory overload. The sheer volume
of people, cars, and STUFF is overwhelming.

Even a small grocery store could cause inner
turmoil! So many choices made my head spin.

Yet, I was still excited to be back.

Suddenly, the rollercoaster turned and I was
confronted with the sensation of “no one
understands.” I had such a desire to involve my
friends and family in my life, yet in the back of
26 my mind I struggled with the knowledge that
they could never truly relate. I was bursting
with stories and emotions I longed to share
with them, yet there seemed to be an invisible
barrier between us that I knew I could not tear
down. At this point, I moved on down the track to
“taking it all in.” I remember sitting in my
home church, one of my favorite places to be,
and just wanting to sit back and absorb every
sight, every sound, every moment. I did not
want to leave the church! I wanted to stay and
immerse myself in fellowship, to drink it in
deeply and savor it. I just wondered if everyone
else around me felt the same appreciation, if
they understood how truly blessed they were.

As the ride continued, I reached a point of
acceptance. This was simply a nice vacation,
so I would just purpose to make memories.

We visited many neat places, took a LOT of
pictures, and tried to enjoy as much as we
could. After a while, I even started to miss the
simplicity of life in Uruguay, whereas I had
missed the variety of the States. The grass is
always greener on the other side!