The question of where home is has been heavy on my heart lately. As you know, Chris and I have been living for two years in Germany and will Tuesday morning return to the States. Many people have asked us if we are happy to be going “home”.
Are we happy to see our family and friends?
Are we happy to speak English for a little while?
Are we happy to be going home?
That question is a little trickier. Where is our home? If we mean the building or set of rooms that we own/rent, then we have no home. If we mean the place that we grew up and our parents still live, then that is Texas. If we mean the place that we first lived as a married couple, that is Oklahoma. If we mean the place that we have lived for the past two years, where my husband was born and half his family lives, that is Germany.
Anyone who has moved can attest to the fact that building a new home is something very complicated. You leave something comfortable for something that is unknown, that is foreign. When what is foreign also speaks a different language and boasts a completely different culture, you have reached a whole new level of complicated.
An American friend of ours living in Germany says that she was raised in America but grew up in Germany. After the last two years, we can understand exactly what she means. When you start with nothing, not even words, you grow up really fast. You learn the strength of your own character, you learn your limits, and most importantly, you learn what home truly means.
Home, to me, isn’t a place or a building, but a feeling. It’s the feeling of comfort and safeness. It’s a feeling of being known, loved, and valued. It’s a feeling of friends and family who support you. It’s the feeling I got every time I walked into the church in Germany. It is the same feeling I will get when I see our families waiting for us at the airport tomorrow. It is not limited, thankfully, by time or space. Family is family. And home is home.
So, to answer your questions: We are happy to be going home, but we are sad, in the same breath, to be leaving home.
What is your definition of home? #homeis