A student came by to see me in my office yesterday. She poked her head inside and said, “You said I could come talk to you about anything, right?”
“Sure. Come on in.”
She sat in the empty chair next to the round table and poured her heart out about how she wasn’t sure she should be here. She talked about how she went home this weekend and had such a good time with her friends, just listening to music and dancing the way they used to. She told me she thinks about leaving school and just going home to be with her friends.
But then she said, “I know God wants me here.” And we talked about that. We talked about how she has a lot to contribute to this campus and how He has clearly led her here. We talked about how things at home wouldn’t be the same, even if she did leave and head back to her old neighborhood.
Things are just different now.
All of a sudden I realized her problem.
She’s been in school a month; the initial excitement has worn off. Classes and rehearsals and dorm life have become mundane, and it’s still a long time until Christmas.
This weekend I attended the wake (that's Midwest for visitation) of an old friend from home--a woman almost as dear to me as my own mother. B and I drove an hour to get there, stood in line for 90 minutes to greet the family for five minutes, then drove the hour home.
It was worth every minute.
But, since then, I keep thinking about home. The town I grew up in was much too small for me; I didn’t fit in there; I knew God wanted me here. And yet, even now, I get homesick.
Homesickness, I’ve heard it described, is sometimes our longing for something we just can’t put our finger on. We know things wouldn’t be better “back there” and yet the here and now isn’t quite right either.
It’s the future we want, the future we long for.
Homesickness isn’t about going back; it’s about going forward. It’s about finding fulfillment in a place that isn’t "here and now" and that isn’t what has already been.
Homesickness is about all of our desires and wishes and wants fulfilled by something or someone who alone can fulfill them. It’s about finding love and acceptance and peace in the arms of someone who gets us completely and loves us still. It’s about longing for something we just can’t get our hands on here, no matter how far we reach.
As I talked to my student I realized, I’m homesick, too.
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C.S. Lewis
Linking to Richella's Grace at Home party.