Hi, Jay. After a four-week vacation, a little bit of dinner, and a mug 'o beer, I'm feeling prepared to answer your question.
Emotional longings don't necessarily come from unmet needs of our childhood. Often, I think mine come from the fulfilled needs of childhood that are no longer fulfilled in adulthood. I dream of someone always telling me I'm brilliant, witty, and handsome. But ever since I moved away from my mother, no one else seems to share her views of my perfection! Many of my dreams revolve around wanting people to find me brilliant, witty, and handsome. But Phil Vischer is right... I don't think those dreams have much to do with God's calling. That's why I like to analyze my real dreams... not my personal aspirations, but what I dream about at night. I think God often speaks to me through them. My two dreams recently: first, I was at an old garage not unlike your original short-ceilinged Lone Yew Rd garage with my old '71 BMW. It was in pieces in the yard, with mainly the chassis as the focus. Somebody wanted to buy what was left for parts, but I was still convinced I could put it back together and get it running! I woke up. Later, I fell asleep and dreamed I was at a construction site. A house had been framed up but there was no roof yet: just a floor and wall studs. My guitar was on a stand, but outside next to the piles of dirt from the foundation footings. I couldn't figure out why my guitar was outside, and then along came Jeremy Kelly (remember him?) and I knew that he had been coming at night and using my guitar and not putting it back where it belonged. I was very resentful. Then I awoke. So clearly, my first dream showed me that there are things in my life that I should have sold off and been done with a long time ago, but I still hold onto and refuse to let go. The second dream showed me that God is trying to build something new in my life, but I'm caught up in irrelevant, minor details that revolve around the difficult people and students in my life! I need to get over the Toledo phase: there are good friends there, but we're not going back. And I need to set my mind on the house God is building in our lives here, but I can't be sidetracked by the difficulties that seem to be a nuisance. The big issue is that God is building something for us here that we can live with in security. Whether the guitar gets wet or used or replaced in the wrong place doesn't really matter... can we minister to the Jeremy Kellys of Penang?
But enough about me. Tell me about your missionary experience in Malawi. Tell me about your experiences in Korea. How are they different? What are your "dreams" now? Are they driven by God's will or by your unmet childhood desires?
Of course, these are just my initial, non-reflective thoughts. I'll give you more of a reply when I hear your thoughts. BTW, have you heard from Seth and Brittn recently? I've been concerned about them for quite awhile... are they anywhere near you?