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Feeling at home, away from home
Originally appeared online in the teen series Your Healings - June 6, 2023
I’ve always felt a strong connection to my home. But until this past summer I hadn’t realized that I can feel a more expansive sense of home anywhere.
I’d been hired to be a counselor at a summer camp for Christian Scientists. I arrived at camp ecstatic to be there, but soon I was hit with an unexpected wave of homesickness. I started to feel uncomfortable because it seemed like the peace, comfort, and security that I associated with home weren’t there. The more I focused on these feelings, the worse I felt, until I realized that sadness had consumed my entire first week. I didn’t see how I could have a productive or happy camp experience this way. Something had to change, or it was going to be a long summer.
I knew that camp was a great place filled with good people and fun activities, but this reasoning could carry me only so far. To have a truly happy and memorable camp experience, I needed to change the way I was thinking. I realized I could pray. To me, prayer is listening to what God is telling me about myself—about the way He sees me. I realized that because God is Love, instead of trying to reason my way through this homesickness, I could trust Love to help me feel at home. I knew deep down that I didn’t have to be at home in order to feel at home. God could help me feel all the qualities of home at camp.
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