Something I have never wanted to do whilst I am here in South Africa, is make it out like my life is easy and I am having absolutely no problems whatsoever. I mean, overall, life is great and I am really loving what I am doing here. But, there are days when I feel a deep longing inside myself for home comforts.
Earlier in the year, I wrote a blog post about having wobbles about coming to South Africa, which you can read here. I spoke about how I was going to have a big adjustment which I was not sure I would be able to cope with. I would be without my family for the first time, and I would have to depend on God like never before. So, I decided that after three months of living in South Africa, I would make a decision as to whether I wanted to stay or go home. If I really couldn’t deal with being away from home, I would just get on a plane. So, as I am nearing the three month mark, I thought I would let you all know the thoughts going round in my head. (No, I am not leaving South Africa.)
First thing’s first – I seriously miss my family and friends. Never did I think that heartache was real, probably because I had never experienced such a thing. But now that I am 6,000 miles away from them, I understand whole heartedly what it means. My heart longs to see them, to be with them and to share the good and bad times with them. I am struggling to put into words just how much I miss them. But when I think about moving back into the same house as my parents, I realise just how much I don’t want to do that! Not that my love for them is less, more that I have become independent and to move back into that house would make me feel like I am regressing.
I think it is important for me to mention here that I am craving home comforts. Whilst I have been here, I think I have tried to avoid doing things that remind me of home because it would make me sad or because I thought that separating myself from that would make it easier in the long run. Unfortunately, that does the exact opposite of what I thought it would do. I have been breaking inside because I have not done things that help to make me feel at home and I have placed a negative connotation on them. So, having a cuppa and watching Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring really helped to make me feel at home.
What I am trying to say, in telling you this, is that I have really been struggling with homesickness, particularly over the last couple of weeks. But, as much as I would love to get on the next plane and go home, I can’t bring myself to do it.
There is a reason that God has asked me to come to South Africa and serve Him and His Church for a year. And there are a few Bible verses that have really helped me over the last week to see the good in a situation that feels the opposite:
- “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold…- may result in praise” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
- “God… comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
- “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19: 29)
Yes, it hurts. Homesickness is never nice. But, already, I can see that my dependance on God has grown profusely and I am becoming the woman that I want to be, passionately striving after God’s call for my life and the plans He has for me.