The reality is that we got married, decided we wanted to wait at least ten years if we were going to have kids, ended up getting "stuck" in the States with a house project for five years, and then decided that going with a "traditional" mission organization wasn't the best option for us. We came up with the idea of traveling around as mobile missionary mechanics (independent missionary contractors was how we described what we did) and then we did whatever it took to make that happen. And it worked! We traveled around the world (four and a half years, four continents, eight countries, ten mission bases, six mission organizations, and 46 states) doing what we loved, living on very little, and experiencing first-hand the joy and pain of following the Lord when He leads.
And then we stopped. People didn't ask "why" and it's probably a good thing. Twenty months later I still have a hard time keeping the cold tones out of my voice when people ask when we're leaving again. The safest response I can give is to say that we are following God. He led us overseas, then He led us back here, and if He takes us somewhere else, we're always ready to go. Doors open and doors close...we just keep walking.
Some friends recently reminded us that "people don't understand until they have walked a mile in your shoes." So true! Just as I get upset when people judge our decision to come home without knowing (or seeming to even care about) the facts...who am I to judge when I haven't been in other people's situations? After six months of crying and praying and dealing with anger and hurt, we picked ourselves back up and started moving forward with life. We haven't arrived yet, but we're getting there.
Now here I sit, almost two years after coming back home, still pondering the future. We're in the process of once again changing the status quo (stay tuned) and we're still keeping our eyes on the One who knows our future. He has always been faithful - through travels and trials, heartache and anger, in the good times and laughter, in the confusion about why we're here when we thought we would be there - He is faithful and we keep walking in the path where He leads us.