I was inspired by the way my friend Sarah Lara phrased this, which obviously also has a reference rooted in Shrek (which I’m not at all mad about). We were talking about the people who “get us.”
Sometimes that’s our family.
Sometimes it’s our friends.
Sometimes it’s fellow missionaries.
Sometimes it’s the people we minister to.
I’m Karleigh, but there are layers to who I am. My family or friends who have known me since I was young have a different understanding of who I am. My best friends from college understand me in a different way because of walking through years of shared experiences. Those who have been a mentor, counselor or wise counsel have seen profound parts of my soul that aren’t shared with everyone. My fellow missionaries “get” the clash of cultures & not fitting in either here nor there. Those who I work & live with at Lily House know the ins and outs of that specific ministry in ways outsiders can’t.
It’s not that any one of these relationships has more importance or worth or depth than another. There’s just layers.
So, when I’m missing Michigan family & friends who “get me,” that’s not a statement about not loving or appreciating or being seen or understand by those in the Dominican. It’s simply a longing for a specific soul connection with specific people. And believe me, during most of my visits to Michigan, I long for people who “get me” as a missionary and dominicana (I claim a certain level of Dominican-ness after these years).
Our lives are onions. Our relationships are onions. Maybe for one person, I haven’t even let them close with a knife because I’m scared to share my layers. Maybe for another, the pricking on their eyes was too much when they started cutting down. And others have patiently & painstakingly endured the tears & process of breaking through. Not every relationship is on the same layer and that’s okay.
More than anything, I’m grateful for a God who knows each and every layer & is never afraid of what might be hiding deeper within.