Guest post by Lisa
Have you ever tried to remember a place you’ve been to before and for some reason, the picture seems foggy? It could be a place you’ve been to a thousand times, but somehow it just feels so far away. As a missionary I’ve struggled with this for years. I once had another missionary wife tell me, “When you are in the US, your resident country seems so far away, and when you are in your resident country, the US seems so far away.” It’s so true.
I’ve found that when I’m living in Kenya, I think about the US, I miss my family and friends there, I ache to be a part of the celebrations, trials and daily life that is going on there. But at the same time, it all seems so far away. I get consumed by life in my new country and the busyness of ministry there. We make friendships that become so strong, we form a new support system and family. We learn to rely on those closest to you and help each other through life with all its joys and ups and downs.
Then comes the time when we return back to our origin country and life has gone on there without us. Everyone is so happy to see us and we love spending time with them again, but somehow it’s just different. The US you left is not the US you return to. By the time you get back into life and feel like you are settled and know how to do life there again, it is time to go and do it all again.
We recently have had a long stay in the US due to some medical issues with our son. When he was cleared to travel back to Kenya, we all got off the plane, and I think everyone was in a bit of a confused state. Once again, things had changed, life had went on, and the country we left was not the one we came back to. My youngest son was standing in the international Airport and turned to me and said “Mom, when are we going to get to the REAL Africa?” It was so different than what he remembered he wasn’t sure where he was or how life would look now.
We’ve had to learn that wherever God has us, is where home can be. No matter what country or continent we place our feet on, we can be content and secure knowing we are home because God is with us. He loves us and is our security and trust. He is what we rest in when times are uncertain or we wake up not sure where we are or what hotel room we are in. He gives peace when we can’t be with friends or family on both sides of the world at the same time to help them grieve or rejoice in life’s happenings. He is our stable rock that never changes or moves. It’s so wonderful to know that we don’t have to worry, or feel unsettled because He is the one thing that will never change. He is Emmanuel, God with us!
Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”