A pair of ducks and the paradox of leaving

In just over 3 hours I am leaving Toledo with my mom, step-dad, brother and sister-in-law to go to Detroit airport and head to Maryland. I’ll be in Maryland for three days and then leave the US for Germany for the longest continuous stretch of time that I have ever been away from home.

Recently people have been asking me how I feel about the whole moving thing and my honest answer has consistently been, “depends on when you ask me.” It seems as though my brain is not even able to comprehend what it is thinking. My heart (not literal one of course) is so confused that very little emotion is shown on my face at some points.


At training we were introduced to the idea of a pair of ducks (yeah and yuck ducks) as an illustration of the paradox that we are going through as missionaries leaving and that our friends and family will be going through as well. I thought I would give you some of my yeah and yuck ducks as I prepare to leave:

This time in my life is one of the most exciting times in my life – yeah

I’m leaving my mom, who is my main support, my exercise partner and cooks some good food! – yuck

I’m moving to Germany – yeah

I’m leaving my brother whom I have become better friends with in the past year and a half than ever before – yuck

I’m going to be able to use the skills God has given me to help Europeans and Missionary kids – yeah

I’m leaving the only country I have ever lived in – yuck

I’m going to be fluent in another language within a year (hopefully) – yeah

I’m going to miss holidays with family – yuck

I’m going to be able to travel to places I never would have been able to normally – yeah

I’m leaving friends both in Ohio and Maryland (and some other places too!) – yuck


As you can see these are just some of the things that are going through my mind at any given time. It will be hard to say goodbye to my family today, but knowing that God will use me is worth it. It will be difficult, but God will provide my family, friends and I with the strength to remain close even when we are so far away.

One thought on “A pair of ducks and the paradox of leaving”

  1. Jake,thinking of your up coming journey. My thoughts and prayers as you travel,do the work your meant to do. Good Luck! Have some fun! And remember we’ll be thinking,praying with you as well as for you.

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