…and so it begins.
This is the time of year I start to feel homesick. 2 years ago it hit me very hard around this time, so last year I went home in September to stave off these emotions. This year, I went home in the summer because hadn’t seen the corn grow and I wanted to see the stocks tall and bending in the summer wind. But now, the holidays are coming. Harvest is happening right now. I can picture my brother out in the field, my family making meals for all the guys to take out there late at night. I want to smell the cool crisp air of autumn, see the beauty of orange and red leaves and cloudy skies. And I’m longing to dress myself in head-to-toe red and go to a Husker game.
But instead, I go outside to dust storms, skies with no clouds, and brown. Everywhere.
I’m certain that God decided to have a good laugh when he created this introvert with the love language of quality time, because once again, these opposite sides of myself are at war and all I want to do is be with people who love me. (And then go take a nap, because they make me so tired.)
I desperately long for a “replacement” family here in the desert. One that will take me to their own family events, no matter how menial to me they think it seems. One that will invite me to family meals on Sundays after church – something I miss so much about my own family. I want to find a family that won’t mind if I show up at their house just so I can hang out in their backyard with a glass of iced tea and a book. I want to find a dad or a brother with a pick-up truck who will take me along to a drive out to the farm and just talk crops to me. Even though I doubt I will understand what they are saying.
They say homesickness is a real thing; that it happens in people who have little experience being away from home (not me) unsupportive parenting (also not me) and in those not finding close friends in whom they can confide (the kicker for me.) I have some friends like this who don’t live near me, so that really doesn’t work. For me, it’s that no one around here has their family far away. Most of the people I am close to here have family within driving distance. They don’t have the emotions I experience on their radar. They simply forget that I can’t just see my family by taking a short drive. They can’t see into the emotion I want them to, which is completely unfair of me. But there it is.
I know that for many people, being with family is a stressful experience. And mine can be sometimes, too. But mostly there is just ease and love. They ease the pain I often have being a ministry leader, an INFJ (who feels life far too strongly) and simply being me. Their grace to me is unequivocally and spectacularly generous and of course, undeserved. Perhaps it is simply that place where grace resides is where I long to be. But it is also in the place of family ties, which ground me. I am tethered to them during this season of my life where floating aimless seems to be the norm.