It’s normal, I know. One doesn’t travel this far away to not ever have an aching for home.
The last few of days I’ve really been dealing with the homesick blues. Maybe it’s not the most talked about topic on your average blog describing traveling abroad, but it is part of it nonetheless. I’ve observed that, naturally, it varies in intensity depending on the person. Even the most vocal “I don’t miss home” people I’ve met have still occasionally mentioned something about missing someone or something back home.
Sometimes I think I’ve approached the homesick blues in the wrong manner. I’ve tried suppressing it, ignoring it, even feeling ashamed that I feel it knowing how blessed I am to be here. I’ve tried distracting myself, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t just go away that simply.
I know I’m here for a purpose and that this is a good and important experience for me, but there is a part of me that just misses home, family, friends, and familiarity. That part of me looks at the months ahead with sadness thinking of how long it will be before I see everyone again. I miss my home church and miss having my own apartment. I miss knowing what stores are the best for finding various items and having friends not too far away to go visit and laugh with. I miss not having to think so much just to get through everyday conversations and problems. I miss being able to just pick up my phone to call or text my parents, siblings, or friends. I just miss life….back home.
I think the best way to handle homesickness is to recognize that this is okay and natural. There’s nothing wrong with it. I shouldn’t feel guilty or that I’m being ungrateful to miss home and loved ones. To miss them means that I’ve been so very blessed by being with them. It shows how much love there is at home. Why wouldn’t I miss it? To not miss it would be to be ungrateful. I’m blessed to have more than one home too and to have so many dear ones across the U.S.
I know that I’ll miss Grenoble too when the time comes to leave. Thus, I find myself in a strange paradox. I know that come next summer I’ll be so excited to be going home, but I know that I’ll also be sorrowful maybe even crying to leave too. What is ahead exactly I don’t know beyond what my schedule shows, but I do want to benefit as much as I can from my time here. I’ve come here for a reason, and I want to do the best I can to fulfill my roles as both a teacher and a student.
God placed me here. He will give me strength. He will give me courage. I am not alone. He is not bound by national borders or distance. Just as the dear old hymn says “Anywhere is home if Christ my Lord is only there.”
So, I came home today, fixed supper and a hot cup of tea, and just allowed my mind to wander to thoughts of home. Sweet memories of smiling faces, of holding hands around the table to say the blessing, of dear voices reading chapters from the Bible after a meal, of laughs with friends, of the warmth of love felt just being with dear ones, of sweet conversations, and oh, a host of other happy thoughts floated across my mind while in the background the sounds of France came through my window as if to remind me that so many sweet friends and times lie ahead here too.