My last year of college I took a course in the comparative literature department at UGA on the subject of children’s literature. Don’t jump to any conclusions, because this class was DEEP! On the first day, my Polish professor guaranteed that each of us would cry at some point during class that semester. Obviously, I was in no position to play hard to get in that arena, and I jumped at the opportunity to weep openly with my peers on more than one occasion. For my final paper, I compared the concept of “home” as depicted in the books Peter and Wendy and Children of Zion, a collective narrative written by children during the Holocaust. I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of home recently, especially in light of my frequent trips back to Georgia, so I went back and took a look at my paper. I had forgotten how unusual it was that my professor prompted us to write this paper in first person and make it so personal. Cue the tears…
Moving to Connecticut has arguably been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Don’t get me wrong—my job is amazing; my friends are amazing; winter lasted too long, but I could get used to these summers! (That’s right New England—I said it. It’s not that hot. Get over it.) Things I’m still adjusting to include but are not limited to, my ability to get around without a GPS, the cost of living, tea that is falsely advertised as not only sweet, but “Southern Style”, AND THE FACT THAT NO ONE UNDERSTANDS WHAT A CHICKEN BISCUIT IS!
This past weekend I made my third trip home in five months for the last of the weddings I can afford to travel to for the next year. Honestly, I was kind of a mess. I was so excited to be reunited with a group of my best friends from college for the wedding of Stephen and Bree (shout out to 5pac and the Whitfields) and see as many people as I could in a very small 24-hour window. But the realization that this would be my last trip home until Christmas was really hard. It felt so final, because the end of every trip before was just a quick, “Kbye, I’ll see you in a couple of weeks!” But now, it’s official. I’ve hit a homesick wall. As much as I’ve loved going home so much since I’ve moved, it’s certainly served to delay the inevitable–realizing I still live in Connecticut. Loving my job as much as I do means New England will be my home for an indefinite period of time. It makes sense logically, but my heart is having a really hard time computing the emotional facts of that statement. I have no idea what God’s plan is for me professionally. He flung open this door that I casually strolled through in February, but it’s not up to me how long that door stays open and when it gets closed again.
On Saturday, I was reading my Bible in Hebrews 11, a passage I have read DOZENS of times. But I love when God knows exactly what you need to read at exactly the right time, and He opens your eyes for it to make sense for the first time.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. ” (Hebrews 11:8-10)
When I re-stumbled across this scripture, I felt like my heart had been hit with a ton of bricks. I mean, I know I’m not leading an entire nation of people out of slavery and into the Promised Land, but I felt really connected to Abraham
. (See above comments on chicken biscuits and sweet tea if you’re tempted to doubt my stranger in a foreign country status). Moving was a giant leap of faith for me, and I realized that staying in New England is just as much of a leap of faith. I miss my family; I miss the food; I miss pretty much everything about the South. But my reminder from God is that no matter how much I miss my home, what I’m actually waiting for is my ultimate Home in heaven.
After living here for 5 months, would it ever be the type of place I’d choose to move to as a 25-year-old single woman just because? No. But has God blessed me with an amazing inheritance even though I didn’t know where I was going? Yes. Will I EVER say I’m from New England no matter how long I end up living here? No. Will God continue to provide for me like he always does? Yes. Long story short—godliness with contentment is great gain, and I pray faithfully everyday that God’s plan and favor is evident in my life.
I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my paper and my favorite quote from my favorite movie that has always helped me through transitions in my life–
“Home has never been about occupying a space…rather, I consider Athens my home because it’s where I have kept myself. I recognize Athens as the place where I flourish…it’s the only home I’ve ever known, but very soon I may set out on a journey in search of a new home.” -me
“You know the great thing, though, is that change can be so constant you don’t even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t even notice that your life is better or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant. It happened to me.” –Life as a House