People have always asked me if I’m fearful of going new places. I’ve never been afraid of traveling. Whenever opportunities present themselves, I jump and take them. It’s an insatiable desire I have. Some may know that since March of 2014, I have been living on the road. In this past year I have been to 20 countries and mostly just living out of one backpack. I’ve slept in every place from a train to the floor of a boat, a car to the branches of a tree, and even the side of the road. I LOVED every single minute of it. What some probably don’t know though, is that I was supposed to finish out a full year on the road with a short-term move to Cambodia this spring.
Something I’ve learned about myself is that I am totally comfortable in new places. I can explore and meet new people and feel absolutely no anxiety. The idea of Cambodia excited me! Living among the people there, learning about a new culture. The idea of living there for a few months ignites everything in my soul that I love. Yet something felt wrong. Like God was saying, not yet. Not now. I kept feeling this urge to go home, which is uncommon for me, to say the least. And to be honest, the idea of just staying home makes me more uncomfortable than anything I’ve ever done.
I always thought of going home to Ohio as a let down. It’s not exciting or adventurous. And I had gotten so used to doing exciting things, that going home made me feel like I had failed. I thought of going home as weak. I could be doing so much more! Why would I go home when I could move to CAMBODIA! How cool is that?! I had the money saved, I had my housing arranged, I even had a travel friend. I struggled with what to do for most of the fall. What if I stayed home and missed out on this amazing opportunity? However, a dear friend of mine taught me that being home isn’t necessarily missing out on opportunities. In this case, going home could be an opportunity in itself. She kept telling me that there was a reason behind this bizarre desire I was having to return home. “A home is a guardian of identity,” and wasn’t finding my identity the entire reason for my traveling this year?
In the past months I’ve witnessed hospitality and love unlike anything I ever thought possible. It took a lot of fighting with myself to realize that now it’s my turn to give those things, rather than to keep taking them. Specifically, to give them to my family. Those who have always supported and loved and missed me. This is a season for me to remain home. To not work myself to death to pay for the next big thing. To do nothing for myself for the first time. I went to at Hillsong LA service a few months ago, while still on the road, and it was the defining moment when I thought, “okay God, I hear you.” The entire service was based on the quote, “There is beauty and power in us coming home.” The idea of being still in a familiar place makes me extremely uneasy. Yet, I know home is where I am called to be right now. And so I am. Just home.