What do you do when your heart is divided between different people and places around the world? There is this quote I can very much relate to and that keeps coming back to me by Miriam Adeney, “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
For a little side note, I originally wrote these thoughts down a month ago, as I started thinking a lot about the life to come after my missionary service in Brazil is finished. For different reasons, it waited to be posted, but here it is now.
In about 8 months, I will be leaving yet another home. What are the things I miss here and can go back to? What are the things I missed in Estonia or in other places and can still enjoy here? A part of me wants to only focus on the “here and now,” but people keep asking about what life is like here (in Brazil) or “back there“ (in Estonia), and inevitably we start comparing. I talk about snow to Brazilians and the amount of sunshine to Estonians; about variety of food to Estonians and potatoes to Brazilians; about Atheism for Brazilians and churches to Estonians.
And then, the fears and questions start coming into my mind. When I’m back in Estonia, will I fit in again or will I be laughed at because of how different I might have become? What if I forget Portuguese soon? Will I be able to speak my own mother tongue properly? Will I be able to get used to the more hurried (and therefore rather stressful) life again? Will I be able to continue the good habits I have picked up here? How long will it take for my body to get used to the change of climate and for me to act culturally accurate again, in my “own” environment? Where will I live? Will I be able to find a job soon? Will I feel stuck? And maybe the most important questions of them all: How can I use the experience I am having here to the maximum, to make a change? From the Methodist perspective, I understand that the whole world is (supposed to be) our parish, but where on Earth (quite literally) will I continue this work and what will be my next steps? What will be God’s next plan for me?
Home is where your heart is, right? But where is my heart? I know that it will be divided once more when I leave. One thing to comfort me is that wherever I go, God is there already. In Him, my heart can be complete and at home.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38, NLT)
Projeto Sombra e Agua Fresca (Shade and Fresh Water Project)
GMF International, Class 2015-2017