It is close to a year or so being away from home and it hasn’t been all that great. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that God gave me the opportunity to be in a new country, learn a new culture and language, interact with new people, and most importantly finish my studies; but there are moments where I get home sick. It is easy to get back up when you know where ‘home’ is supposed to be but lately I have been fighting with the feeling of not knowing where to call home.
Late last year I got to go home after almost 6 months, it might not seem a long time but nothing seemed the same. Apart from the new people who had joined my circle of friends, it took me quite some time to get re-introduced to the people I had spent so much time with when I was home. It was heartbreaking to realize that home wasn’t home anymore and by the time I got used to everything, it was time to leave again. During my whole trip from home I was distracted by the thought that I had no clue where home was, it felt comforting being between the two cities I lived in. I had wonderful friends on both sides, but somehow I found myself battling loneliness.
I had shared this thought with a few of my friends but I just felt like they couldn’t understand my feelings, especially since I had not understood that feeling completely. I made a conscious decision to avoid that feeling by keeping myself busy and it was easy since December had just rolled in and I gave all my time to all the celebrations happening at church. When the celebrations and all the busyness died down, I was left with alone feelings and thoughts that I had ignored for a long time, and this time there was no escaping.
Growing up in a Christian home taught me to pray and read the Bible in every situation, I did exactly that but for some reason I still didn’t feel peace inside. One day I was just sitting on my bed and weeping uncontrollably, it almost felt like I was having a conversation with God about how lonely I felt. After a while I was so tired that I just laid down, still weeping, still talking; and I remember this rush of peace that just came over me, it felt like a wave of calmness. I just laid there, feeling to this wave of love and peace engulf me completely. I know that God never leaves us, but it took the feeling loneliness to realize how much He cares.
The psalmist in Psalm 94 says “If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,” your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up.”
I still have days where I feel like the feeling of loneliness is setting in but on those days, I lay down in His presence allowing Him to take hold of me and my emotions. It might seem silly, but it is as simple as that. These past few months have helped me realize the power of crying out to the Lord, and the comfort of laying in His presence.
We all need a little extra help sometimes, so if you’re going through something similar or maybe even worse, remember Psalm 91:1 “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”