Letters I can’t read.

on August 2, 2011 in Scotland with 9 comments by

One of my last nights in Nashville, Lyndsay and her roomies threw me a HAPPY BIRTH-BYE PARTY! [The classic combo of birthday + goodbye party.] It was such a sweet night. Many of our friends came together and we laughed and chatted and sweat to death because GOOD GRACIOUS JULY IS HOT. And behind my back, as I spoke with friends and posed for pictures and gave goodbye hugs, my friends all wrote encouraging notes.

My love language for suresies is words of affirmation, so letters and emails and anything people write down makes my soul jump in fifty different directions.

So I can’t read those letters.

If you’ve been here for longer than five minutes, you know how I feel about my people in Nashville. There aren’t good words. It’s love, at the core, but it is more as well. I don’t know… for a girl who talks too much and is never short on things to say, I don’t know how to explain it. Sorry.

And I’m super scared that the words from the friends that I love will break my heart.

I’m happy here. I really love Edinburgh. And my friends here. And the ministry I’m a part of here. [I especially love the cool weather. Obviously.] And so so many other things. I mean it. I love Edinburgh. It feels like home.

So I let the envelopes sit in my bedside table because I don’t want to lose the love I have for right now. For right here. For this city and these people. I feel like opening those will send a flood of emotion into my life that will wash away the normal that I’m enjoying in Edinburgh. I hover pretty close to the homesick line a lot of the time and I fear those sweet words would send me straight over.

I know what you are thinking- that the letters will be encouraging and kind and will spur me on to do greater things. They will be good and perfect and make things better, not worse. And you are probably right.

But a promise I made to myself is that I will be honest in this journey. I’ve never been a “missionary” before, I’m not sure that I am one now, but I do know that this is a unique and new experience for me.

And being honest today means that I am not sure how to handle things that make me miss home. I can’t pretend like Nashville doesn’t exist- I don’t want to- but I’m not sure I want to remember my reality there either.

I want to read them all and yet I can’t read them yet.

So for today the letters shall remain tucked away in my bedside table, waiting for a time when I am brave enough to face the love that I left behind.

. . . . .

Your thoughts, ideas, questions, and general observations are welcome. 🙂


  1. posted on Aug 02, 2011 at 7:17 AM  |  reply

    I believe that those letters were written to give you what you need. And maybe what you need is the love that just radiates from them. If you read the words or not, the words are still there. The love is still there. And it will be there when you need it. And waiting on you when you get home.

  2. posted on Aug 02, 2011 at 7:57 AM  |  reply

    I think it’s totally ok to not read them right now.
    You know you are there for God’s time and purpose and with knowing that and knowing this may set you over the edge it’s ok not to read them.
    Your friends in Nash still love and care for you regardless if you read the note or not.
    And who knows, maybe they are there for a special time when you’ll need it more than anything. There could be a reason God is speaking to your heart to wait.

  3. posted on Aug 02, 2011 at 8:36 AM  |  reply

    I’ve waited to read letters before. My mom wrote me a letter for almost every day I was in Thailand- I did read them every day but I chose the part of the day that I was strongest or needing a dose of home the most, for similar reasons. When you’re ready to read them, you will. What a great group of friends you have!

  4. Patricia
    posted on Aug 02, 2011 at 11:09 AM  |  reply

    Just as you know that now is NOT the right time, I am confident that you will know when IS the right time. Trust that voice.

  5. posted on Aug 02, 2011 at 2:42 PM  |  reply

    What a great group of friends that wrote you those notes. You’ll know when the right time to open them is. When I was in New Zealand I had an extra pillow case from home that I didn’t use until I bought a extra pillow several months after I arrived. (I promise I did do laundry, I just forgot I had it apparently.) I’ll never forget getting in bed that night and smelling my mom’s laundry detergent on that pillow. It seemed silly at the time, but it was like she was there with me that night. I still see it as a gift from God, right when I needed it most. 🙂
    Still praying for you as those homesick moments come and go. Be strong in knowing God has you right where HE wants you.

  6. Kim
    posted on Aug 02, 2011 at 9:07 PM  |  reply

    I think you’re doing the right thing by keeping them close but not forcing yourself to read them. You’ll know when the right time is. Just keep listening to your heart.

  7. Emily
    posted on Aug 02, 2011 at 10:07 PM  |  reply

    Annie, having just “transitioned” from Nashville to Los Angeles, I can relate. Though I’m not separated from home by an ocean, I do feel very far from those I love and adore. And yet I’m close to other people I love and adore right here in LA. It’s a weird feeling. I get to visit home at the end of the month, and while I think it’ll be a precious time of visiting with those I left behind, I am so happy here in LA and I want this to be home for now, too. Anyway, just wanted to say I resonate with your post today and I too don’t know how to handle things that make me miss home.

  8. Lindsey
    posted on Aug 03, 2011 at 12:31 PM  |  reply

    What a sweet gift! I totally get those feelings.

    Maybe when you’re back in Nashville, missing Edinburgh, those letters will be like a great big hug, welcoming you back home. 🙂

  9. posted on Aug 10, 2011 at 11:41 PM  |  reply

    You’re wise. You’ll figure it out and when you can read them – or when you’re just having a good cry anyway – just pull them out and let them bless your soul. Until then, let Scotland bless your soul a little while longer 😉 I, too, am faced with a similar dilemma and in 6 short days can actually say, “I know how you feel.” Words written but words unread, either way, you are loved and that 99% of the time, is all that matters.


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