Most of the photo credits go to siblings and in-laws.
When I think of my family, friends, and church at home, the word that comes to mind right now is “thank you.”
Thank you for the strength I feel behind me. When I struggle, you gently carry me along with your prayers, encouragement, and advice. When I am happy, you rejoice with me. And you tell me about life at home like I’m still one of you. I am still one of you.
You give me a reason to be homesick. Not every day. But some days it rushes over me and I feel lost, pretty sure that I will drown. And I do for a little, overwhelmed with the sorrow of what has been and probably would have continued being had I not moved here. But then I lift my hands in surrender (literally sometimes), let my tears dry, and blow my nose. Life goes on.
“God, I’m not questioning my calling; I’m just feeling the hurt right now.”
I’m thankful for technology– emails, phone calls, video chats and such– but it’s not the same.
I wonder if Jesus ever felt homesick. He had sweet and constant communion with His Father. And then He left heaven to come to earth. Sure, He could pray to His Father. But it wasn’t the same. Sorta like a phone call.
But without that sweet communion, without something that emotionally ties us to “our” place, there would be no homesickness.
That’s why I say, “Thank you for the homesickness.” You have given me many reasons to miss you.
“Am I hungry or just bored?” I muse as I peer into the refrigerator.
Summer has set in where the nights rarely descend with a breath of cool air. It is warm all of the time. And what is worse is that I feel trapped inside. And what is even worse is that my roommate chose this month to travel to Germany, another friend left forever, one classmate is in the UK and another classmate is in Spain. I am trapped with myself.
I make plans here and there, but the reality is that any plans are contingent upon the time of day. The hours that are too hot are off limits because street robbers might prey on the few people who are out. The hours right before the breaking of fast are even worse; there are hardly any people or cars to be seen and a fog of silence enshrouds the street.
Even if I do go out, most stores would be closed anyway. And the cafés and restaurants definitely are.
Why didn’t I just go home for part of the summer? Never mind the long journey or the money. Maybe that would have cured some of my recent homesickness.
I am tired of studying on my own, reviewing, practicing, listening, jotting down notes. I am tired of the food in my fridge. I am tired of sleeping.
For a melancholy, boredom breeds self-pity. At least it does in this melancholy. The light at the end of the tunnel is fading. Ramadan will NEVER end! Instead of thinking how hard it would be to fast for thirty days, I think about how unfair it is to plan my life around those who are fasting.
Selfishness. Yes, it all comes down to a perspective saturated in selfishness. Time to go count my blessings.
Yearning to be there instead of here Where the ones who know you best Still love you most; Yet, seeing a bigger picture And a God who is stronger Than our longings.