Living so far away from "home" and my family breaks my heart sometimes. It's especially hard these days as we yearn for family and friends who sing the same heart song we do. I first heard MercyMe's "Homesick" while in college. I would cry and cry at my study carrel on the second floor of the library, knowing that "home" would never be the same for me. Even going back to Cameroon wouldn't ever be "home" anymore, because things change, places change, people change. I grieved that when I graduated from my rain forest high school and flew away from my tropical home, I didn't realize that I would never be coming back as ... well, that version of me.
As I learn more about God and hear His guiding in my heart, that MercyMe song has taken on a different note. Being married has emphasized that even more. We are so thankful for one another and for God's very obvious hand in our journey together so far, and yet, we understand more clearly than ever before what it is to hold blessings in an open hand. We understand a little bit more the peace behind "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away." I still miss home terribly, and there are days, like today, where it actually makes me cry. But Nich and I have both been repeatedly reminded that this is not where we are meant to be forever. No matter where we are on this earth or who we're blessed to share it with, it will be temporary.
It makes the loneliness a bit easier to bear on most days. It also makes it all the more clear that my daily desire should be God's glory and fulfilling His purposes for my life - more than my desire to share laughter, to travel, to teach, to write, to learn and know (savoir and connaitre), to explore God's love ... even with my husband. I came across the thoughts of one of the bravest soul's I've ever known last year. I haven't met her. I think I would like to. She's the sister-in-law of one of my childhood friends, and she's dying. And she's doing it so intentionally, with such grace and strength, and I can't help but think of another MercyMe song when I think of her.
Angelic rejoicing will abound when we all finally make it to Abba, who will welcome us with that firm embrace that will let us know we're really, truly home at last.
"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner