When I turned twelve so many years ago, I never would have thought that I would eventually become a wanderer.
The reason why turning twelve was so important is because that year is when my family and I packed up our suitcases, put our house on the market, and flew halfway around the world to East Asia. When your family follows the Lord, you have no choice but to go wherever He might lead; you are miserable if you don’t. I didn’t want to go, leaving behind the only culture I had ever known. We had moved a few years prior to a whole new state, and I was just getting used to being there and meeting new friends. However, it wasn’t up to me to decide whether or not we should move across the “pond.”
And I am so very glad that it wasn’t my decision.
We spent three years in East Asia, and those years were the best years I ever knew or have known even now. Suddenly, the world was so much bigger than I had ever imagined, full of countless new places, fascinating people, and exciting experiences that one can only dream about. Since childhood, my favorite book had been Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, and now I was actually living in a strange new country and having adventures like Phileas Fogg! It was a wonderful time in my life, growing up as a teenager overseas. It broadened my perspective, and has changed the way I view people and situations to this day.
After three years, the Lord spoke again, and in a matter of months, my family and I touched American soil for the first time since we had moved overseas. To some degree, all of us were disappointed with having to return to the States, a place whose people and customs and even language had become quite foreign and somewhat unfavorable. Imagine my surprise at returning to my birth country and feeling more out of place among “my” people than among the millions of Asian people I had lived with and among overseas! When we finally made two more moves to various states, we ended up back in the South, where my family and I are originally from. I started college, and am now back home for the summer.
A reason why I crochet is to keep my hands and ultimately my thoughts busy. If I get too idle, my thoughts start to rove, and I find myself wishing I was any place but here. My feet are itchy and I just feel stuck. Having seen the world (Asia and recently, Africa), I want to go and do and see and be. My barely-there contentment with where I am now is hanging on by a thread, and I know I’ve got it bad when I start researching airplane ticket prices.
I want to live a life of faith; faith that God knows what He’s doing and that He’ll lead me to where He wants me to be. Lately, Africa has been nagging at the back of mind, especially since I know that I could be over there working and teaching the children Bible stories right now. I am constantly reminding myself to pray and ask God to give me clarity, but I wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t be asking Him for contentment, as well.
This summer will definitely be a learning and hopefully, a growing experience for me in my walk with God. You are invited to tag along with me; we can be surprised and amazed together at what the Lord shows me and what He is doing.
Perhaps my itchy feet can’t be cured, but I do know the cure for an itchy heart, and that is what makes all the difference.