Thursday, May 3, 2012

Where are you from?


Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com


It's getting harder to respond. How should I answer? Do they really want to know the complexities of our life right now...or are they just being polite? Should I just say Chicago or Connecticut because it's easier? Or should I delve into our whole, long story and our nomadic lifestyle?

Nowadays, when I meet someone new and they ask me, "Where are you from?", I pause. And the monologue above runs through my head. As time goes on and we become more and more nomadic, I recognize that this common, polite question is becoming more difficult to answer. Sometimes, I feel like I'm still from Chicago, because I spent the last 10 years living there and that is the only place where Nate and I have had a home together. But then after moving back to Connecticut for the last 5 months, I've reconnected with my feelings of home in New England. I would love to say that Vienna is home, but of course, that won't be a reality for quite some time.

In reality, none of these places can be called "home", at least in the traditional sense of the word. Until we settle and make a home for ourselves, we will continue to live in limbo. This can be a difficult "land between" to experience, but there are also great blessings. For one, when someone asks me that question, it immediately opens the door for me to share with them about the step Nate and I are taking. And God has used that conversation in many exciting ways, from opportunities to share the gospel to opportunities to connect with fellow believers about missions. Secondly, being without a home helps me identify with others who share this experience. There are many refugees living in this country and in Vienna that have been displaced, are in transition, and don't have a home. For the first time, I know what that feels like, at least in some small way. And many MKs (missionary kids) I know feel the same way, being torn between the country they grew up in and the country of their ethnic origin. These questions are hard to answer for them, too.

I may not know where I'm from anymore, but I do know where I am going. I will continue to live in the "land between", eagerly anticipating the day when we will have a home and thanking God for all of the temporary homes He is providing along the way!

Note: This post was inspired by Sheryl O'Bryan and her post here.