“Disengaging” is a somewhat softer word for saying goodbye. But in the end it means the same—we are pulling away from something to which we have been committed.
Everyone has to find his or her own way to disengage when the time comes. For us it meant saying goodbye to some treasured people and walking away from something after investing much of our time and a large amount of heart into putting it together. It was a missionary assignment we gladly accepted and gladly completed.
The website we set up in Central America will survive and thrive because we have left it in the hands of talented, dedicated people—people we have learned to love and will miss. We have confidence in them. They will do a good job managing and building on the work we had the privilege to begin. See http://www.sudca.org.)
Disengaging takes time. The last few weeks in Guatemala are packed. One Sunday we are in the small chapel below the Guatemala City airport meeting with the little branch congregation—maybe 100 people—we have grown to love. Six days later, I am in the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the son and grandson I have not seen in months. The building is filled to its capacity of 22,000, and this is my grandson’s first time in one of these meetings, since he has just reached the age when young men in the Church are ordained to the priesthood. The contrast could hardly be greater. The transition is aided a bit by the visit of friends from Guatemala, as we share with them places and activities we love in this area.
Still, there is a certain surreal quality to waking up here again. This is home—the place where we have gone about our lives for so many years. And yet it is not the place where we have grown used to waking up and going about our daily routine for the past 18 months. In my mind, I resisted calling the apartment in Guatemala City “home.” But there are people and places and daily activities that I miss already.
Now it is our time to engage again, with our family and others. It is time to try to be a productive part of other lives, to try to help others of our Heavenly Father’s children grow and be happy if we can. We have left behind the calling we were given, having done what we were asked to do. Now it is a time to find other worthwhile ways to spend our days.
What to do with our time now that we no longer have a day-to-day assignment?
The solution seems to be the same as it has been for the past 18 months: “Lord, please help me to see someone to help today.” Please help me to find a way to make a difference for good in someone else’s life, beginning with my family close by, and extending to anyone else thou wouldst have me reach somehow. Please help me to see useful ways to serve Thee.