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If you’re feeling homesick
When my mum yells someone’s name, either they’re in trouble or it’s good news. On this Saturday morning, it was good news. I’d just been accepted into a boarding school for Christian Scientists in America. I was very excited, though I didn’t know what to expect. Initially, I didn’t think about what I was leaving behind and the things I was going to miss about my home in Zambia.
When I arrived in America, everything was totally different than I’d imagined. It was so hot and humid. The air felt so thick I could barely breathe. Also, when my mum and I got to campus, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. That was the opposite of the way people had been at my old school, so it made me feel uncomfortable.
After two days, it was time for my mum to leave. I’m ready to leave now, too, I thought to myself. I missed my friends and family, and I couldn’t believe I was really going to stay at this school—8,600 miles from home.
I couldn’t believe I was really going to stay at this school—8,600 miles from home.
Three weeks into the school term was when it all really hit me. I felt so far from home. I didn’t want to go to my classes that day. I was sobbing on my bed when a friend passing by my room asked what was wrong. When I told her why I was sad, she reminded me that home isn’t a physical location or even where a certain person is.
Her comments made me think of this statement about home from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Home is the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the boundary, of the affections” (p. 58).
As I began to think about that idea, I realized that home isn’t a place you go to find love. That would be too limited. God is Love, so love is everywhere because God is everywhere. So I could find love anywhere I went, including America and my new school. This idea helped me overcome the fear that I couldn’t feel loved if I wasn’t in the country or building I call my physical home.
I realized that missing home had been causing me to push away people, leaving me miserable. But as I started to recognize that Love was with me, I discovered I could give love, too. I began to be more openhearted—to talk to more people and make friends. As I gave love, I felt loved, and the homesickness started to disappear.
Love is everywhere because God is everywhere. So I could find love anywhere I went, including in America and at my new school.
God also helped me see the bigger picture about why I came to America in the first place. I started to feel grateful for all the opportunities I had at my new school, including a good education. This helped me stop focusing on the things I missed and instead pay attention to all God’s goodness that was surrounding me.
Even though I’d been really homesick, this spiritual perspective helped turn my thoughts around so quickly. I was really grateful for this, because I’ve discovered so much love at my new school, and the homesickness is gone. I’m glad I learned that prayer can help us see things in a new way no matter what we’re facing.