My dear friend and linguistics partner, Asmara, is German. Recently, while driving to our language session, we were talking about our time in Oklahoma coming to an end. We talked about how we were anxious to go ‘home’. We both meant Missouri. Not Maine. Not Germany. She then taught me some German. (Please don’t ask me to pronounce it.) They have two words for home. Zuhause, means house or home. Heimat means essentially your heart home, where your roots are. I love that German makes a distinction between the two.
I’ve been thinking about ‘home’ a lot lately. Maine, of course will always be my heimat. Always. It’s where I was born and raised. I love it there. I love so many people there.
But the majority of my adult years have been spent outside of Maine. Michigan was home for 3 years, Missouri has been home for over 2 years, and Oklahoma has been a home of sorts for 2 months. That’s a lot of time outside the Pine Tree State. And in each place, God has allowed people in my life who have become family. Each place has changed me.
In less than 2 weeks, I will be back in Maine. All the training that I have either been working towards or doing for the past seven plus years will be completed. It’s something to be celebrated! God has been so faithful and constant. He’s been my Provider, my Sustainer. These 7 plus years are a testament to His goodness and grace. He’s the only one who deserves the praise. I am so grateful for these years.
However, I also think that it is right and healthy to grieve the end of this season. The next two weeks bring ‘See ya laters’ to people who are family to me now. They have been my sandpaper, my encouragement, my iron sharpening iron, my examples. The list goes on. As so many of them are also training to be missionaries all over the world, there is a good chance that I may not see them again this side of Heaven. Part of that breaks my heart. But, when I think about Heaven and people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation, I’d say it’s worth it.
Tomorrow I’ll say ‘See ya later, Oklahoma.’ In a little over a week, I’ll say, ‘See ya later, Missouri.’ In about a year or less, I’ll say, ‘See ya later, Maine.’ Each goodbye is hard. But the same One who has given me family in every place I’ve been thus far, will be faithful to give me family when I’m in another country, or in the village. In the transitions, I can trust the One who has never changed and never will.
So bring on the new season. He has so much in store. Bring on the end of these seasons. They only make Heaven that much sweeter. Because when all is said and done, it’s not about where we are on this earth. It’s about where we’ll be. Home in Heaven with our entire family.