“Are you excited, Noah? We’re going home in a few days!” Noah’s wide, cheesy grin indicated his enthusiasm as he quickly colored in another airplane on his countdown calendar. Soon, we’d be headed back to the States for an extended furlough full of raising support and adding another little minion to our family.
Finally! We’re going home! Then I started thinking. Are we really headed home? No, not really. We’re just headed back to our precious families and to houses filled with memories of what home used to be for us.
Over the last four years, Noah has called four different houses in two different countries “home”. We haven’t lived in those places with any sense of permanence. We’ve held off hanging pictures and buying certain furniture because we knew we wouldn’t be settling there.
Even after three years in the Dominican, I still don’t know that I can call the DR “home”. There are amazing aspects to living in the Dominican. We’ve somewhat acclimated to DR life, but we aren’t Dominican. Can we ever really call this country full of beloved people “home”? The truth is, we’re living as strangers in a foreign country.
The past 14 days stateside have been strange, though, too. I keep forgetting that it’s OK to drink the tap water. It’s weird being able to throw the toilet paper in the toilet. (TMI? Sorry.) Vehicles (usually) follow traffic patterns. I don’t feel like I’m going to run a moto concho off the road at any moment. It feels odd to walk through the grass with bare feet. People aren’t as “friendly” here – you don’t walk into a room and say hello to every person within hearing distance. I’m beginning to feel a little like a stranger in my own country, too…
So where is home? It isn’t in the States, but it isn’t in the Dominican, either.
And then I remember something Paul declared several times throughout his writings. This world is not my home! I’m living as a foreigner and stranger on this earth. Neither the Dominican nor the US is my final destination. My true citizenship is in heaven! I’m so excited that someday I’ll be able to experience the place I truly call “home”.