Today on the way to church I summarized for our children a story I recently read on another missionary blog. I told them it was a story for missionary families like ours. They listened intently as I spoke:
"There are two lands, and a missionary family like ours comes from the Land of Blue to the Land of Yellow. They love the Land of Yellow and enjoy so many things about it and the ministries they do there. But they always stand out as different: they are Blue, in the Land in Yellow. Over time, however, what happens when Blue and Yellow mix? The missionary family becomes Green. They are not quite Yellow but they are a lot more like Yellow than before. And then they have to go on furlough, like we do ... and there are lots of things to look forward to. But they are not Blue anymore. Which means they are different in the Land of Blue, too. And being different, and feeling different, that is normal. And it's okay. Besides, Green is a great color! It's the color of growth. We like Green, don't we?"
From the back seat I heard a mumbled chorus of something akin to agreement, and then from one child a frank reply:
"I would rather be Yellow. But I guess Green is okay."
I understood exactly what he meant and what he felt. Having spent much more of his life on the field than in his passport country means he identifies much more with "The Land of Yellow" than "Blue." Sometimes being a mother of MKs who is also an MK is a blessing, and sometimes it is a bane. The blessing is knowing the ultimate richness of a life lived between two lands, with treasured memories and friendships in each. The bane is remembering the painful path which must inevitably be traversed to reach that realization. It is the comprehension of the heartache that one's child is only beginning to face and must ultimately confront alone. Bane or blessing, it is my prayer that he will embrace the beauty of Green - and the blessing of his two lands!