Home. I have been trying to figure out where exactly that is for us. We call our house in Gisborne, New Zealand “home.” When we just traveled back to America to visit our family and friends, we said we were going “home.” Typically it seems like home is the house where you and all your possessions live. It has gotten a little complicated for us. We are planning to be in New Zealand temporarily and go back to the States some day. We sold most of our things and our house in Michigan, changed our mailing address to Ohio, and rented a storage unit for the remainder of our possessions. The house we currently live in is full of someone else’s stuff. (We are really enjoying that stuff by the way.)
When we decided to move to New Zealand, we had never visited before. We loaded up our boys, seven plastic bins of clothes and books, and traveled to a new country half way around the world. We didn’t know much of what our house would be like, we didn’t know any people, and we weren’t really sure what to expect. We understand the terms “foreigner” and “stranger” well.
As I’ve been thinking about our interestingly misplaced lives, I’ve been reminded of what the Bible says is true for Christians. It says we are aliens and strangers in this world. Earth is not our permanent home. We were all made for something much, much better. Going on this adventure has given me a taste of what it’s like to not have a permanent home. It can be uncomfortable, unsettling, and stressful. I have had to rely on God in a way that wasn’t necessary before. Will I make new friends? Will we like where we are living? Will our boys adjust OK? Will Jared like his job? Will we be unhappy being so far away from everything familiar? At times, I have run to God to be comforted from all the uncertainty. He tells me to trust not on what I can see, but on what is unseen. He is good and faithful, and He is with me no matter where I go.
God has blessed us tremendously in New Zealand. We have made wonderful friends, found a good church, and Jared really enjoys his job. There are still difficult things to deal with. We are not sure where we'll be living next year, it can take a toll on little guys to be traveling and moving from all that is familiar, and good relationships take a long time to form. In the midst of everything else, I think it can be good to feel misplaced. It gets me even more excited for what to come in heaven and reminds me not to dig my roots in too deep anywhere. Even though we will continue to call the place we live at the time, “home”, I am comforted by the reminder that my true home is not in this world. Words from the song, “In Christ Alone” came to mind. In the last verse it says, “No power of hell, no scheme of man could ever pluck me from His hand. ’Till He returns, or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.”