The gift of being foreign


I always imagined this break back in the states being so much fun. But when you get back and hit the ground running you realize it doesn’t stop. There is No routine, no normal, Just a car and many miles to cover, people to see, meetings to make. And all the while you are shocked by this culture you thought you’d have no problem fitting into. Then you kind of settle thinking “once we do, life will go back to what it used to be before we left.” Couldn’t be more wrong! Life went on without you and now you don’t belong. There’s that stuff that everyone seems to know by osmosis but you. And you realize this place you thought was home, just isn’t.

When we were in a foreign country we wanted to live normally but there is always something giving you away as a foreigner. The language, the way you look, the way you act. You stand out as different. This became very frustrating, but as time passed The Lord began to show us, this is a gift.
You see when you don’t belong you can do one of two things hate it all or look to Jesus. I have to admit I’ve done my share of hating and it’s just not fun. But when you look to Jesus you realize this gift of not belonging keeps Him at the forefront. Keeps my mind on things above. Not on this world, I’m constantly reminded to see things from a spiritual point of view because we are strangers here, even in America.

So this gift that God has given us may not seem sweet but when it throws you to His feet to find grace and a place to belong, there is no sweeter gift.


10 responses »

      • Gretchen, that is soooo true. You hit the nail on the head! When I was young as a missionary kid, I sometimes wanted to just fit in, but after 40+ years of being on the mission field, I have learned to enjoy being different and yes, when you go back to the States, you don’t fit in very well. You enjoy being with your family and friends, of course, but you start realizing that the country you left behind has become your new home. I have felt that way in all the countries where God has allowed us to work and I am amazed at how God helps me to feel at home wherever He places me. But it also depends on our willingness to feel at home. Thanks for your great post!

      • So true. I am really learning to accept this time here as well in the same way I had to learn contentment there. But it’s definitely good to be with family.

  1. And when you are foreign people are always asking you why in the world you left the states to come here or there and you can at least give them a tract! opens many doors. When people would ask my kids which they liked best, Argentina or the USA, they would say, ¨who do you like best, your mom or your dad?¨ Worked every time. (I don´t think it was original. We heard it somewhere.)

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