We just returned from a month-long mini furlough traveling to three different states. It was good, it was busy, it was exhausting...but it was also filled with beautiful times with our friends, family, and community State-side. And yet, it was different. This was the first time we returned to Atlanta, which had been our home for 8 years previous to moving overseas, and it just didn’t feel like home, it didn’t feel familiar, it didn’t feel altogeher comfortable. Of course, conversations flowed, we picked up right where we left off with old friends. But life just felt different in this now foreign city.
We have heard it before, we had been prepped for this weird phenomenon happening. However, it feels unsettling and unusual when you are staring thi new oddity straight in the face. When you come to that point in living overseas, when you no longer feel like you really belong at home and don’t fully belong in your new foreign home. Both have elements of familiarity while both have this distinct differentness and otherness. You realize there is always a disconnect between you and others, you have experiences State-side and a life that few can understand in your new abode; while your old friends and family know the old you and you have shared history, and yet have very little understanding of your new normal living abroad.
And yet, there is this unusual comfort in being eternally uncomfortable. Because if I am really honest with myself that is exactly how I am supposed to feel living this side of heaven. Jesus, while on this earth, felt it constantly.
And I really should be living in a way that feels somewhat radically different whether in a foreign land or in the same neighborhood you grew up in. Because your life will have an otherly perspective to it, when you choose to live in such a way. Things that meant so much and you hold onto with a deathly grip, soon melt away. Life is just different. So I guess, I can rest assured that whether I am living abroad or had never left my childhood town, because of the choices I make and how I want to live my life, it will always feel not quite at home.
So as we turned the key to our home in Honduras two days after being away for a month, and as the warm tropical breezes (really ...also known as stagnant humid air) engulfed us whispering (or knocking us in the face :)) a welcome back, I could breathe a sigh of relief because I was right where I needed to be and feeling exactly what I needed to feel…at home feeling slightly uncomfortable.