I drove by the high school on Friday night during their football game and marveled at how few people were in the stands. With the band playing and the cool fall evening, I recalled my own high school days in a state where everyone's out at the stadium for Friday Night Lights and football reigns.
I felt homesick.
I go to Texas, though, and it's still home but yet it's also foreign now. I notice that every woman wears makeup and most wear large jewelry and everyone gets all dolled up, as they say. The men drive trucks, and people look you in the eye. And the billboards and chain restaurants? Were they there in this quantity before?
There are megachurches on every corner, and when I tell my Texas friends that people where I live don't have a category for these buildings and these programs, they look at me a little funny. And they look at me really funny when I speak of snow and autumn and mountains and how beautiful it is in Charlottesville.
That is home for me now, the place of seasons, Subarus, bumper stickers, lacrosse, bow ties, Thomas Jefferson and the place of no Tex-Mex, no Friday Night Lights, no George Bush Parkways, no bluebonnets, no Blue Bell, and no 9-month-summers.
And that feels right and wrong all at the same time, like I'm a little bit homesick whether I'm in Texas or Virginia. But for what am I homesick? Comfort? Familiarity? My identity?
I just want a place to call home, not to feel half-home in two different places. I look at my friends who have gone East from the West or West from the East, and I wonder if they know where their home is and if they feel like this too. It feels silly to say, but it feels like a sacrifice to be half-at-home all the time, to raise my children in a culture different than the one I grew up in, and to have become a little bit Texas and a little bit East Coast but not fully either one. I truly have to pray about this.
Can you imagine then how comforted I was to read this?
[Speaking of Abraham & Sarah]
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
I should feel homesick. I should never truly feel at home, comfortable, settled, and situated perfectly, because I am a pilgrim in a foreign land, whether I'm in Texas or Virginia. No amount of settling in or digging roots in a certain place will ever satisfy my heart because I have declared that I seek a homeland and that homeland is Heaven. My identity is not as a Texan or a Virginian; my citizenship is in Heaven.
This is really freeing to me. It frees me to learn and grow rather than isolate myself and cling to earthly roots. It frees me from planning and trying to control my future and the future of my children. I can go anywhere God asks me, just like Abraham and Sarah, because no matter where I am, a home awaits.
Are you a church planting wife who has left your physical homeland for another? How does this Scripture give you peace and hope today?