I chose this beautiful song for this Friday because it is a song that has very much defined my life of longing and searching for “Home”. I long and pine and ache for my Heavenly home. We are just sojourners here, we don’t belong here. I’m not settling in here, I’m waiting to go Home.
By Sara Groves
I’ve been feeling kind of restless. I’ve been feeling out of place. I can hear a distant singing, a song that I can’t write. And it echoes in what I’m always trying to say.
There’s a feeling I can’t capture. It’s always just a prayer away. And I want to know the ending, things hoped for but not seen. But I guess that’s the point of hoping anyways.
Of going home, I’ll meet you at the table. Going home, I’ll meet you in the air. And you are never too young to think about it. Oh, I cannot wait to be home.
I’m confined by my senses, to really know what you are like. You are more than I can fathom, and more than I can guess, and more than I can see with human sight.
But I have felt you with my spirit. I have felt you fill this room. And this is just an invitation. Just a sample of the whole, and I cannot wait to be going home!
Going home, I’ll meet you at the table. Going home, I’ll meet you in the air. And you are never too young to think about it. Oh, I cannot wait to be going- to be going home!
Face to face how can it be? Face to face how can it be? Face to face how can it? ‘Cause this is just an invitation, just a sample of the whole. And I cannot wait to be going home.
My Favorite Valentine Candies- If anyone wants to send me some, I'd love you!
When I moved overseas I carried my old culture with me. But my holiday joy fell out when the bottom of the box broke. Holidays just aren’t the same in another country. You don’t realize how much emotion is packed around each holiday until you try to unpack them and realize that no one around you feels the same way about this date on the calendar. Much of the culture built into each holiday is developed in childhood. But if you don’t spend your childhood in this country, you don’t have all the same packaging around your memories.
Think about it. Do you remember the first Valentine’s Day heart you decorated in Elementary school? Probably not, but I bet you remember the joy (or stress) of passing out your cards and candy in class. And where did you learn about Martin Luther King Day? Probably in school. And who doesn’t remember all the hype and build up before Easter and Halloween?- holidays synonymous with Candy in the kid world. And what if you moved to a country where Thanksgiving and Christmas were no big deal- or worse- didn’t exist?! Would you feel jilted if you had to go to work when your American friends and family back home were celebrating together?
Holidays aren’t the same overseas. For us here in Costa Rica, Juan Santamaria Day just doesn’t thrill my soul. And unless we go buy them ourselves, July 4 comes and goes without fireworks (but you can hear fireworks on random other days… like last night.). Unless you are Catholic, Easter means a two week vacation to the beach instead of a new dress, an Easter basket, and a special church service. No one has ever heard of the Easter Bunny here! (And they have a Rat instead of a Tooth Fairy! Imagine growing up with THAT legend crawling under your pillow!)
So when I unpacked my box of holiday memories, I feel the sadness of losing something that I didn’t even know I had. We make a lot of sacrifices to be where we are and to do what we do, and this one hurts me a lot. We do our best to replace or replicate the broken holiday joy, but it’s never the same. We will always be outsiders on those special holidays in our adopted country, and over time, we start to forget about the American holidays that come and go without a Hallmark card reminder. I guess holidays don’t travel well.
This week I got an email from a long-time friend in the throes of change. She was discouraged that she was moving back to her hometown after living overseas. She felt like she was moving backwards in her life.
I know that feeling well. I too, have left places only to return a few years later. I remember feeling depressed at going back. I had changed, would my old life try to press me back into its mold? Would old friendships still be available to me? Would old habits or bad memories pounce on me and try to shackle me again? Fear mixed with sadness blunted my hope and anticipation of the future.
Re-entry shock is real for missionaries. Not only have new shops and subdivisions been built while I was gone, but new people have moved into the space that I once occupied within my circle of friends. There are new faces at church, new faces on campus, new faces in all your old places. I remember many years after I graduated from college I returned to the campus to say Hi to some friends who still worked there. I needed to use the bathroom. I excused myself and headed down the hallway were there USED TO BE a public restroom. Suddenly I noticed that the whole wing had been renovated. I stood looking at the wall were the door had once been. I looked left, I looked right. I finally hailed the nearest 19-year old and asked where the bathroom was. She called me ma’am. I felt so old. I used to know this place like the back of my hand! I used to know people here and they knew me too! I felt like shouting down the hall to no one in particular, “Hey! I used to BE somebody here, you know!!”
The thing is, Life rarely moves in a straight line. Sometimes it doesn’t even move forward. Time always moves forward, but sometimes Life goes backwards, or sideways, or even comes to a stand still for a while. (Ever have a loved one in the hospital? Then you know what I mean.)
Life is more like a Slinky. If you hold the top of a Slinky and let the bottom drop you get a long spiral. This is how I imagine Life. We keep cycling and recycling up through lessons, places and relationships but each time we cycle back around we are on a different level. Hopefully a higher level. This time around we are more mature and will see details that we missed with our more youthful perspective. We have a greater framework of experience on which to hang these reviewed experiences. We are wiser and know how to avoid traps that we fell into before. God has a new lesson to teach us in an old place.
We can look at those old shackles lying on the ground at our feet and not fear that we might pick them up and put them on again. That’s called “Victory”. We now know how to pick them up and move them out of the way so we can keep moving on. We don’t have to fear old habits, old relationships, old ways of being. We let God teach us how to hang them up for good. And remind ourselves that we are not the same person who passed through here last time. I have changed. I am stronger, wiser, more focused, more powerful. This time around I have a better perspective. This time around I am more of who God is making me to be. So don’t let the Slinky of Life get tangled and cause frustration. Just keep moving upwards as God leads you and teaches you.