Where is Home?

We've gotten over seven months of this recruiter life under our belts, and I have to admit, it's been a major adjustment. If I were to be completely honest, we still have a lot of adjusting to do. Life as a military family in a civilian world is miles different from anything I've ever known! Living without an air base nearby is something I've never done in my entire life. If I had a bucket list, I guess I could cross that off of it. {As a side note, I'm so glad to say that our boys have handled this moving business a hundred times better than we ever hoped or prayed they would! They are really growing up...}

When I was ten, my dad was given orders to Japan. I was devastated when my parents told me and my brother the news. Top it off with their pending divorce, and it was a very unhappy few months of preparation for heading overseas. I had thought of Maryland as "home" since we arrived there when I was four, so moving several thousand miles away across an ocean was not something I ever wanted to do. For a while, I clung to Maryland as my home state, but it didn't take long before I discovered that I was blessed to call two places my home.

By the time My Airman and I moved back Stateside, I only had one home: Japan. It was where I got a new mother, where I was raised, where I had lived the longest, and where I was married. I spent twelve years there, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Nebraska was our next station {for eight years}, and it didn't take me long before I had been blessed yet again with a second place to call "home." The Cornhusker State will also always hold a special place in my heart. It was where we really began to put down "roots" as a family. We loved and learned so much while we were there, and it's still hard to believe we've moved.

We've been blessed with not having to move overly much in My Airman's career, so I have forgotten what it's like to be "the new kid in town." I'm remembering more as we keep settling in here. I'll blame it on being more introverted, which is a lame excuse to be sure. I truly want to make friends and know people, but starting all over is sometimes just exhausting to me. The thought of reaching out can make me feel overwhelmed. Once or twice I've tried to convince myself that we won't be here that much longer, so why bother? It's pathetic; I know. 

Sometimes I dread the seemingly innocent question: "So, where are you from?" And believe me when I say I've heard it more times than I care to count. 
Moving to a new place and meeting all sorts of new people tends to make one repeat one's life story. A lot. A few times I've found myself avoiding conversation if at all possible, because I just don't. want. to. explain. anything.

Having lived the military life this long, I find myself wondering, "Where is home?" By the time we move from here (just under 3 years to go), will this state be "home"? Will the next? 
These days, I've discovered that I feel much the same as I did when I was uprooted as a child... between two homes, trying to figure out which one is the "real" one.  

Then a still, small Voice reminds me:
"This world is not my home. I'm just a-passin' through..."

When we get right down to it, isn't it all just temporary? I'm so thankful to know that one day, I won't have to worry about packing up our things or trying make new friends or shedding tears because we said "goodbye" to yet another person. I'll be
home. For good. What a day that will be!


Jessica said...

Yes -it is all so temporary ... and THAT is why we gotta Live it Up!! :D We should take on a new adventure everyday! (You start! haha) Here's to roadtrips and strangers becoming friends and conquering that introvert inside - that deep down actually wants you to experience new things. (All this coming from a girl that doesn't like to explore outside of her pepperoni pizza!) Can't wait for your posts that start off: Had another great adventure this week ...

Naomi Ungry said...

Arlene, I know the feeling! Have you read/heard of the book "Third Culture Kids"? It put into perspective the fact of never having a permanent home/culture my whole life and the challenges as well as blessings that go along with it. Also that each transition does include a grieving process and giving yourself time to heal by God's grace! I was introduced to the book during my last year of college, which was also the time God was calling my family out of permanent missionary service in Alaska -- in my case, complete upheaval of my world! My last visit home for Christmas in 2013 was so hard because I had no promise of ever being able to return...it's so far away, the expense to travel so far, etc. God's will is really hard sometimes! Since graduation Florida has become my "home"...although I have been resistant this whole past year, now that I've taken some deep breaths and accepted the changes, I'm beginning to feel more settled.

I agree that so many new relationships can be tiring. I've learned not to force it. God has brought me closer to certain individuals than I ever expected I would...they have been a huge help to me looking back on this year.

God has a perfect plan for your family in Ohio!!! And so many blessings in store! The thought "All this and heaven too" encourages me so much. What a good and gracious God we serve.



Paula said...

Hi, Arlene! Adjusting to a new place can be so challenging! I hope that you make some good friends, and stay in touch with your old ones, too. :)

Sunshine Country said...
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Tori Leslie said...

Amen Alene, this world isn't our home. I guess like missionaries you have to realize you're just passing through and the word home is relative. BTW, I don't know how I lost your blog address but I'm adding you so I won't miss any more posts. *Ü*