Traveling and homesickness go hand in hand for me, they always have. When I was little and would leave home to visit family, I would cry for hours upon arrival. I remember coming up with phrases to help me feel like going home wasn’t as far away… “The day after tomorrow you can say, ‘tomorrow you’re going home.’” I also kept a journal, which I recently found as we were cleaning out the house for a garage sale. I came across an entry written to my younger brother, Charlie. He was just five months old at the time. It read:
I miss you. In fact, I miss your cry. When I get home I will see you and I will love you very much and tell you what a great brother you are.
For me, homesickness means a feeling of sorrow, a sense of sadness that no one is able to ease. The only cure I’ve found is time. To this day, homesickness still overcomes me when I leave Nevada, which is where I grew up from ages two until fourteen. My husband knows to have the Kleenex ready for the plane ride home. His shirt is usually drenched by the time we land. I am often in off and on tears for several days after returning to Minnesota and make a lot of phone calls to my mom. Yes, I am twenty-six years old.
Something was different about our most recent trip to Nevada. Being a mom has changed me in many ways, for instance, I am more emotional and sensitive than I ever used to be. As I was dealing with the homesickness last week, I couldn’t help but imagine if I was ever separated from my son. The thought alone is enough to make me tear up (even as I write this). In the moments when my mind wanders to that image, I am comforted by this: God’s love for us is so much greater than our love for our parents or even our love for our children. Nowhere on this earth will ever truly feel like home, because it isn’t. If I, as a human, can be so completely devastated being far from my earthly home, how much more does God long for me when I turn away from Him? When I feel homesickness creeping in, I am reminded that my true Father is right next to me. He may call me to live in many different places here on this earth, but he promises an eternal home with Him for those who will follow. I find solace in those reminders and I hope those of you reading this who live far from home will too.
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."