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Posted on Apr 26, 2012 in Marriage, Wisdom | 10 comments

Homesick

Homesick

Engagement picture taken on the farm

Transitioning into life on the farm has been easier than I anticipated.  The wide open spaces, peace, and slower pace of life have been really good for me.  I’m enjoying getting to know Rick’s friends and family, his church, and all his favorite things.  He has good friends, a wonderful family, and a welcoming church.  The warmth and welcome I’ve been extended have been a treasure to me.

So the other night when we walked into a local restaurant for dinner, I was nearly knocked over by the unexpected sense of homesickness that hit me.  There was a church meeting in the restaurant’s banquet room and they were playing praise and worship music LOUD.  The worship leader had such a good voice and handled the transitions so smoothly that it took me about fifteen minutes to realize the music I was hearing wasn’t a recording.  The songs were familiar, ones we sang regularly at the Sunday evening service in Nashville.  My heart squeezed tight and it was everything I could do to keep from crying right there.  I didn’t want to eat; I just wanted to join them.

My husband grew up in a small, Mennonite church that’s only about five miles from his house.  It’s a good church and I’ve been enjoying the services.  I recently discovered that one branch of my family tree actually started the church.  Many of the members are relatives and they’ve been friendly and kind.  But it’s one more thing in my new life that’s entirely different from what I’m accustomed to.  In Nashville, I attended a very large church with an incredible music program.  We sang a few hymns here and there, incorporating the new with the traditional, but most of the music was upbeat and passionate.  It wasn’t a perfect church, but I loved it.  I didn’t realize how much I would miss it.

My ordination service

My new church incorporates different styles of worship into their morning services and if there’s anything Mennonites traditionally know how to do, it’s sing.  I thoroughly enjoy hearing the harmonies as a cappella voices join together to praise the Lord.  The church also has a monthly praise and worship service, devoted almost entirely to music.  The leader has a great voice and a heart for worship.  Everyone brings food and eats together afterwards in the fellowship hall.  (In Nashville, we went to Chili’s.)  We went to the last one and enjoyed it, but it isn’t home yet and my heart ached for the familiar.  During the service everything hit me at once…  I miss my friends!  I miss my church!  I miss the familiarity of my old life.  I started crying and couldn’t stop, wanting to crawl under the pew in embarrassment.

And yet, I wouldn’t trade my new life here for anything.  A friend recently wrote me a little message, reminding me that it’s okay to be sad.  Feeling sad doesn’t mean you’re not also happy.  Missing the familiar doesn’t mean the new isn’t good.  So I allowed myself to mourn the loss of my church and the familiar.

Since then I’ve been listening to praise and worship music at the house, while I’m working in the kitchen or sweeping the floors.  It feeds my soul and helps me feel connected to God.  I need to express my thanks and praise to Him and alone in my house I am free to do so.  It amazes me that of all the things that could cause me to feel the sting of homesickness so sharply, it’s music that did it.

10 Comments

  1. Kimberly,
    Oh how I relate to your experience! The pain and the glory always go together.
    I pray that as you bless many with your writing, the Lord will provide ways and places for you to bless others through YOUR beautiful voice.
    Love you,
    Carol

    • Thank you, Carol. I have learned that lesson well. Everything glorious comes with it’s share of pain. It doesn’t diminish the experience, but makes us humble and thankful. You’ve taught me that.

  2. Perhaps God is going to use you to introduce your new church family to a dfferent style of praise and worship music. 🙂

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Amonda! My new church does have praise and worship on a regular basis, and they embrace it. It’s just not the same as the freedom of expression I’m used to “at home.” There’s a real beauty in the various ways they worship. It’s just a lot of change for me.

  3. Kimberly, I think everyone can relate to this. Moving transitions seem to have always had some grieving involved. For me it wasn’t always missing people but when we moved to Pittsburgh from Harrisonburg I had a surprisingly difficult time dealing with missing the mountains and open spaces of Harrisonburg. But being a good German I suppressed such frivolous emotions, (humor intended)

    • I love it, Fred! I’m also thankful that I get to enjoy the lush trees and mountains when I go back to SC and TN. I like the wide open spaces here, but I also love the beauty of the azaelas and the canopy of trees over a winding road…

  4. Kimberly, as you’ve learned throughout your blogging history, it’s your honesty in “balanced coverage” of your life that draws us all back in. I’ve had several large, dramatic transitions in life (poconos to nyc to the beach and back to the city again) and with each change God has spoken to me about the cycles in life–namely, that of blessing-relinquishment-blessings-relinquishment. That always seems to be the way He works. Praying this season is full of beauty in the “summer and winter, springtime and harvest…” 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real!

    • Thank you, Melissa! I really appreciate your prayers and encouragement. So often I hesitate before posting a blog, wondering if I’m sharing too much. Then someone makes a comment like yours and it reminds me why I share.

  5. Kimberly, your friend’s words to you that it’s ok to be sad was an encouragement to me! The differences for me in moving here from home are seemingly completely different than your differences, but they are differences none-the-less. Sometimes (at random moments) I am completely overcome with sadness in missing my family and my home in PA that I burst into tears (and look like a complete fool!) It’s encouraging to hear it’s ok to be sad because it’s true– I am at the same time, happier than ever!
    I recognize you wrote this some time ago- but I am loving reading back on your blog! 🙂 Thank you for all you share. It is so encouraging.

    • Brittany, I’m so glad you commented! She really encouraged me too. It’s been such a helpful thing to remember as I deal with moments of sadness. There was a time when I first moved away from home at 22 years old and dealt with very similar issues to yours now. The birthdays of my family members were especially difficult and once I cried nearly all day at work and felt like such a dork. I couldn’t keep it together. It’s hard to be away from your family! I still deal with the difficulties of that, especially now that I’m having a baby and thinking of the distance. It helps so much to embrace the pain with the joy.

If we were chatting over a cup of coffee, what would you tell me?

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