I was talking to a friend the other day about my trip back to the states over the holidays. I get back to Thailand on February 2nd and the rest of February is really busy for the ministry. My friend (who just moved to Thailand a few months ago) said something to the effect of “Well it’s a good thing you will have just been home for two months. At least you will be well rested.” At that point, I just started laughing to myself. The truth is that the term “home” is a lot more flexible than I once thought.
My first couple years in Thailand my trips to the states were in fact, trips home. They were my chance to get back to normal, to eat my favorite foods and speak only English. They were my chance to see my family and friends and get my fill of them to last through the next year. They were my chance to sleep and rest and process the previous year.
And then, somewhere along the way, home moved.
When I was in the states in 2008, I missed Thailand. I missed my friends, the food, the language, my house, my dogs, the culture, everything. I was so excited to get back and when I walked off the airplane in Chiang Mai, I took a deep breath and smiled because I knew I was home.
I’m not saying that I don’t miss things in the states, I do. I really miss my family and friends, more than I could ever express anywhere. If I could move them all here, I would. I miss Target (and pretty much any other store that has clothing my size since Thai clothes are made for size 0 people) and I miss Taco Bell and their amazing sauce. I miss beautiful San Diego and the amazing weather in Northern California. I miss hot showers and really soft beds. And I miss blending into a crowd.
My trips back to the states are great. They are packed full of traveling and sharing about the ministry and reconnecting with old friends. I love and sincerely treasure every minute of it. But they are not restful. Not at all.
It is not until I get back to Thailand, to my house, with my Thai sisters and my dogs and I fall into my nice, hard Thai bed, that I can really rest. You know the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.”? Well, it truly applies to me.
Sometimes I struggle with this. I feel guilty, like I’m leaving behind my loved ones. But it is not at all the case. In fact, Thailand feeling like home is a HUGE blessing! A gift from God. Can you imagine spending 63 of the past 70 months away from home? Just thinking about it makes me tired. I’ve been in Thailand for 63 of the past 70 months and I can’t help but think that God is pretty darn smart! So thank you Lord for moving my home, I really appreciate it!!