I’m going to cut to the chase.
I’ve never been good at flowery language, anyway.
But as a woman who walks the nitty-gritty day in and day out, I find myself more direct than I used to be.
You know what I mean, don’t you?
Us gals in the trenches, we are not the same people we were when we left our hometowns, our families, our last jobs.
We aren’t the same people that boarded a plane with a one-way ticket abroad.
We are in no way the same people we once were. Living as a foreigner in a faraway land has a way of stripping us, I guess.
And stripped we have been.
Stripped of everything we once understood about the world.
Stripped of our own power and ability.
Stripped of our identity, and often our confidence.
If we want to survive in a culture that is so vastly different from our normal, we have to abandon some absolutes. We have to embrace some gray areas.
It’s adjust or bust over here.
But you know the flipside of all that stripping? We’ve been R E M A D E.
Remade with a broader worldview.
Remade to depend on the power and ability of the Father.
Remade into His identity, finding our confidence in His perfect design for us.
It’s impossible to go through all the stripping and the being remade and still be the same person.
And as painful as all the inner transformation is, I think most of us would say that on the other side of each shaping moment is a better self that we have come to love.
The difficult part is that this remaking business is all taking place apart from home. Apart from our families and closest friends we’ve left behind.
The daily processing and stretching and undoing and rebuilding—it’s mostly happening outside the visible realm of those we hold really close. And this is what makes it so hard to fit in at home.
No one has stopped loving us. No one has stopped welcoming us. No one even knows that we sometimes feel out of place.
But in our minds, we know. We know that we have changed, and that there aren’t enough words in the world to catch everyone up to speed on the things we’ve seen, the pain we’ve felt, or the joy we’ve experienced abroad.
And so, we do our best to fit in. We are gracious with our words, and try and mold back into our home culture just like we try and mold into our host culture. And it freaks us out that home can never be a place anymore.
Never again. Home can never be a place. Something happened to us and now we’re triangles stuck between the squares there at home and the circles here at home.
Home? It’s just a word that brings up all kinds of complicated emotions.
There’s solace, though, in home being a state of mind. We can take that safety with us wherever we go, whatever we do.
What does HOME mean, anyway? It’s the place where we don’t ever feel like we have to try and fit in.
It’s within us, our new home. It’s our peace of mind in knowing we’ve surrendered, God has been faithful, and we are better forms of ourselves because of it.
Have you struggled to feel like yourself at home? What kinds of feelings does the word ‘home’ stir up in you? How do you practice feeling a sense of safety and belonging?