I should be working right now. It's not quite five o'clock, my usual cut off time for research if I am not done with the days tasks, but here I am writing a blog. One that is long over due. It was one I started to write weeks ago, but could not finish (as I realize is often the case).
Anyone who has been away from home knows the feeling. Although, I keep in touch with friends and family at home (thank the Lord for technology!), occasionally I still find myself going through intense bouts of longing for the people and places that make up home. After all, technology cannot always make up for the fact that I'm on a different continent, in a different time zone and have an entire ocean between me and where a part of my heart will always reside.
A few weekends ago, I had one of those moments. Sometimes, it's the little things that trigger it; like going to see a movie that I would normally see with my family. (Yes, going to see Captain America: Civil War made me homesick).
I also just got back from a weekend in the British seaside town of Whitby. The train ride there was beautiful and I enjoyed it immensely; but the views reminded me of some of my favorite vacation spots in the US and I found myself both enjoying the familiarity and longing to be in the real place.
Sometimes it is little and sometimes it is immense.
When the desire to be home hits hard, I put on the little South Carolina shaped necklace that I was given before I left for France by a family member. It's a way to physically hold home close to heart when I cannot be there myself.
But as I've processed my homesickness, I was reminded that sometimes pain has purpose. I've shared how homesickness reminds me that this world is not my home among other things. But this time, I realized that my homesickness will be one of my drivers in the year to come.
You see, I will be living in England for another year; I will be working for a ministry that works with international students (in addition to my church here). Homesickness will be a point of connection.
You and I are the same. We are both foreigners. Let me walk with you through this.
So as much as I may not enjoy the hurt that comes with homesickness, I will take joy in that fact that it offers me connection. I will smile when it brings glory to God. I will embrace the homesickness.