Out my window is a thriving flower bush, past which I can look out upon a soybean field and a line of tall trees in the distance. This is the wrong view. I’m supposed to be seeing the back of the couch, TV, and piano from my spot at the breakfast table on the Ranch.
But I’m not at the Ranch anymore. Now, I’m back in the States, returned to my childhood home after two months living in my Mexican one. It’s hard. Foreign cultures fill me with such a sense of belonging that I can’t help but answer their calls. My time in Mexico was my longest stay anywhere outside my little corner of nowhere in the fields of Indiana. I want to go back.
Someday, I hope I will. But for now, God’s got me here, back in a country where people don’t wave as you pass or greet you with a handshake or kiss when you meet. I know it’s cliche to say, but I really did leave my heart there. As much as I think it annoys my mom, I haven’t called anywhere in the United States home for a couple of years at least. That title belonged to Haiti, and now even more to my Ranch in the mountains of Mexico.
I’ve discussed and even written a poem before about how my true longing is for my heavenly Home. I know I’ll never truly be content until I’ve reached those foreign shores and had the opportunity to praise my Daddy for all eternity. But I think we can have more than one home. Yes, my true and ultimate home is in Heaven, but I think I’ve got an earthly one too. I think we all do. I also think that it’s different for all of us.
For many, that home may be in the town they grew up in, evoking a sense of nostalgia and comfort. For others, they’re homesick for places they’ve never been, craving the new and beautiful unknown, fascinated by cultures utterly alien to their own. Still others find their home to be mobile, tying that name not to a building or location, but to a person or group of friends.
As for myself, I think my home will change as the years go on, or at least I will begin to collect them as I add to the number of those I consider family. I know I will continue to travel. I can feel both the call of my soul and God’s all-too-gentle whisper beckoning me somewhere I’m still not quite sure where. Wherever I end up, I know it won’t be familiar, and I certainly hope it won’t be comfortable getting there.
Throughout my travels, I’ve found that the parts of life most worth remembering are the parts we want to escape during them. I mean, I can’t say I especially enjoyed my deathly sickness during my adventures in Chiapas, but I can say that I’d do it all over again for the experience of it. IV’s hurt, but knowing I have friends and doctors that care enough about me to stay through the night to ensure my health made the misery worth it. Besides, a proper missionary needs a handful of near-death experiences to tell about. What’s the fun in inviting a missionary to dinner if they don’t have any interesting stories to regale you with? Scars help too. Still working on that bit.
I’m not entirely sure what this next year will be like before I head off to college (or wherever God decides to throw me), but I do know that I’m not going to just sit here moping about not being where I want to be the whole time. I know God’s got me here for a reason, so best make good use of my time. Over this year, I’m going to work on enhancing both my writing style and the way I communicate with all of you so I can better benefit you. I just got back so I don’t yet have much of a plan, but you can expect my blog formats or styles to change a bit as time goes on, as well as maybe a few changes in other aspects of my blog and emails (which you can sign up for in the right sidebar if you’d like to get these straight in your inbox, plus a newsletter or two).
Wherever your home is and whether you’re there right now or not, don’t let that stop you from fulfilling God’s call. He uses us in our elements and out of them, He ain’t picky.