Today I met someone new and they asked if I have felt homesick at all so far this year. I proceeded to talk about my family and my many siblings and my cat for much longer than anyone should ever have to listen for. And a friend from PA is going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and asked for recommendations of things to do… And she got a boatload of Facebook messages in response.
I miss my family. I miss New Orleans. I miss New Wilmington & Westminster. I miss Bath & Body Works. I miss all of my friends…
And I’m feeling immensely blessed by my community here in South Korea. And despite how cold it is at the moment, I am falling in love with South Korea. The people, the culture, the language… I feel at home.
I feel at home but I still feel a bit homesick. But for where? Pennsylvania? New Orleans? The US? Where is home?
I could easily say that home is where I grew up. When people ask where I’m from, I say Pittsburgh. But despite my driver’s license having a permanent home address in Pennsylvania, I don’t know that I consider that home anymore. Certainly, I feel “at home” when I am with my family and friends in PA but I also feel at home with my family in Ohio. And I’ve never lived in Ohio. And I feel at home in New Orleans, and Daejeon, and New Wilmington… So where is home?
Through my time as a YAV, I’m realizing that home is where I feel supported. God provides and has blessed me with an incredible support system, one that is literally spread around the world. And with technology, any one of my supportive friends, family, mentors, and even my cat, are just a few taps on a touch screen or a few clicks of a mouse away.
Home is nowhere and yet home is everywhere. And no matter how comfortable I feel somewhere, I will inevitably miss the people that make me feel most at home. I miss going to visit my niece and nephews just because I can. I miss hearing the streetcar pass by as I sit on the porch playing my guitar, the delightful scent of jasmine tickling my nose. I miss being annoyed by the horse and buggy that I can’t seem to pass quickly enough. I miss singing “Surely the Presence,” arms wrapped around friends, the air glittering as the particles of sawdust float around a brightly lit, Spirit-filled Anderson Auditorium. Hanging out with Hyeyoung and S as I did this evening, laughing and eating wayyyyy too many ‘bugles’ is something that I treasure and will certainly miss when in return to the US. All of these experiences are bits and pieces of what I call home.
I am learning to feel at home within myself-knowing that each step I take is guided by God, that no matter where I may live, work, sleep, eat, or pray, that God is present.
I am homesick. And I will talk your ear off about my family and friends, Bath & Body Works, New Orleans, my cat, NWMC, NWPC, SCAPC, EUPC… I love and miss my people and places dearly. But I am not aching for home. Because each and every day I am reminded that I am carefully placed, blessed, highly favored, and positioned to prosper. Each and every day something or someone reminds me that I am God’s beloved child and that I am at home when I rest in His love and mercy.
1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.