Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not My Home

I realized recently why it is I have had such a hard time getting into the swing of things during this tour. I can't manage to get fully unpacked; I haven't put things on the walls like I have in other places we've lived; I can't even bring myself to put out all the dozens of family photos that have decorated our previous homes. Why? This isn't "home". My mind, my heart, they just aren't "here". It all feels just so temporary!

This was, of course, the one duty station that we weren't expecting in the least. It snuck up on us just when we thought we were putting down roots and making a home for ourselves. We left behind our first house, hopes and dreams and plans; we left behind family that needed us more than they ever had; we left behind friends and sweet memories. We arrived here in Germany fully knowing what to expect, because we'd been here before. But this time...this time was different. There were no brothers and sisters in Christ within close proximity with whom we could share fellowship regularly. We had very few options for short-term friends, and none of those options really was a good fit for our family. The apartment we were assigned, well, it is less than ideal, to put it bluntly. More than adequate, but just a huge step backward from the life we had started to build for ourselves before the move. We may be living here, but our "life" is elsewhere.

God teaches us amazingly basic lessons from some of our most complex trials. We just have to "be still" and meditate on what He may be trying to teach us. It has not been easy to fit in here, but nevertheless, it is our station in life now and that's what is expected of us. Likewise, I can very clearly understand now how dear the words of the hymn "This World is Not My Home" truly are, and how TRUE they are. It always seemed an odd paradox to me in my youth (did I just say that? I'm only 34, am I admitting that the proverbial "hill" is something I am not far from being "over"?) that Christians are to be "in the world, but not of the world". I never really understood it till I set foot on foreign soil and was expected to fit in while still retaining my American roots and citizenship. My body may be here, but my heart is not. My heart can never be taken from its true home--heaven--and my loyalty, my citizenship, is in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I long for home...yet I live each day, blessed to be cognizant of what I am not missing out on.

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