I just started reading a book called Looming Transitions, it was highly recommended by the staff at SIM to help missionaries finish well and navigate the transition either to the mission field or back to their home country.
A fellow new SIM missionary read it during her preparations to leave and recommended I start it 4-6mo before I leave, then re-read it just before getting on the plane. I am just now reading it--2 months before leaving. :)
I was struck by this thought from the first chapter. The author likens relationships to balloons; their shape is determined by both internal and external factors. She goes on to say that navigating transitions also has internal and external factors--is it initiated by me or by others? Does it feel like the start or the end of a dream? The author then to quotes Carlos Castraneda, "We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same."
How true this is. I know what makes me sad right now in this time of transition (and dwelling on that makes me miserable), and I know what makes me smile and can turn my entire day around. I may not be able to change any of the outside factors, but I can work to stay focused on God, on the dream, and on what brings joy.
Today I choose happiness.