"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Being in a Foreign Land

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."
Hebrews 11:8-10

This move has left me feeling something I have never felt before in my entire life...I have moved over 10 times, lived in about 7 different states, and over 9 cities. So, I know the emotions that go with moving. But, for the first time, I have felt like an alien in a foreign land. This has been quite shocking to my system. You see, I expected to be moving to the closest thing I have considered a "home" state in a long time, yet this area is completely different than the one I am used to near Raleigh. The layout of the land is strange to me. The people are different. The city is odd. I feel as though I have moved somewhere outside the United States and I don't speak the language.

I guess it really hit me today when we tried a new church. I have never been so overwhelmed at a church before. It was wonderful in that it was extremely diverse, but it was chaotic during worship. The preacher talked in a way that I could hardly follow. The music was unlike any I had experienced. I knew it wasn't where we were meant to be. My husband said it was a "typical military church," which I had thought would be a good thing because well, we are military. However, I have come to learn that military churches take a variety of styles due to the diverse nature of those in the military, and blend them into one. It was very unique, just not what I am used to. Afterwards, we tried a Mexican restaurant. Those who know me know the vital importance of this. However, it too was not what we were used to.

I feel as though I don't know where things are, I don't know the people here and for the life of me, I cannot figure out the thought process of those in this city's planning. My husband says that this is a typical military town, which is perhaps the greatest shock. I thought I had spent the past 4 years in typical military towns, but boy was I wrong. The towns before this one had other aspects to them besides the military, whether it be large cities near by or tourist attractions. This place was built around the military, which is an entirely different ball game.

It is just such an odd feeling to experience and such a culture shock since I was expecting what had come before. I guess that is a good lesson though. Sometimes we have this belief that we have experienced all emotions, all experiences, all potential outcomes when in fact there are several in the realm of experience we have never had.

Now, don't get me wrong...I am very content right now. I have just come to realize that my expectations were a bit off skew and I need to reevaluate this understanding of what military life truly is about. It may have more aspects to it than I had previously considered. I also have come to realize that if we do end up staying here, we will hopefully find a home further from the base near the beach where we are now, so I won't feel so discombobulated. The beach is so calming to me.

The good news is that we are all foreigners at one time or another. If we have a belief in God, we are all foreigners in this world, belonging elsewhere, but visiting for a short time. I know that I am not alone in this land that is my new "home". I am not quite sure I can call it that yet. Coupled with the sensation of being a gypsy, it has just given me such an understanding of what Abraham must have gone through as he searched for the promised land.

Anyway, I know this one is kind of random...but so is this town.

Here's to being a foreigner....

Until next time-


Lily Pad said...

I feel like an alien too! I get the most homesick when I'm at the grocery store and its not set up how I like it and they don't sell the brands I'm used to getting. :(

Loafiesmom said...

Aw Caferine's....Be strong. If anybody could make lemonade out of lemons...it's you. I love you!