Home

“I could not quiet that pearly ache in my heart that I diagnosed as the cry of home.”

–Pat Conroy

As of today, we’ve lived in East Asia for one whole year. It’s a joyful thing. I’m thankful, glad, love our life. But sometimes, some mornings, as I hover over my cup(s) of coffee stalking Blogland and Facebook and wedding photos (thanks, Keri)–it’s bittersweet. I miss America. I miss our families. I miss summer in the South and even more than that I miss autumn in the South. I miss weddings and babies and parties and friends in my life stage and Bible Study and  tailgating weather and, oh yeah, church. I miss our families. I miss old friends (phone calls are far too infrequent and sometimes just not enough).

So, indulge me, just for a moment. Here are a few of the things I’ve been most sad, this year, to miss.

This wedding. (Among others.)

These kids.

Along with their parents, grandparents, and aunt and uncle, of course.

This engagement. (Although–praises!–we’ll be home for two weeks in October to see the wedding go down. Ahem. More on that later.)

That crazy Farnsworth family.

This football game (I know, I know).

But let me stop this pity party. Last week, I took my new friend Cat to Metro (the German superstore where we buy Western essentials). In the cab home, we talked about bloglust and contentment and life in Asia, which sometimes seems so so far away from everyone and everything. There are things we miss–rituals and conveniences and mostly people. Over here, we don’t cut down our own Christmas trees. We can’t go home for dinner or the weekend or even holidays. Friends move on with their lives and we miss moments and entire life stages. We’re here, now, and putting down roots, but those roots do not (cannot, due to my native tongue and culture and skin color) grow down as easily as those planted in Chattanooga or Birmingham or Wherever, Southeast USA. The background is too different, the lifestyle too transitory. Life here is not idyllic. But, Cat reminded me, it’s not there, either.

What am I trying to say? That God is good. That our home, really and truly, is not in this world. That, as Paul wrote, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Our satisfaction and strength must come from Christ–all other wells run dry. Oh, that I could remember and believe this truth! He is enough. My home is in him, and no where else. The yearning that wells up in my heart is, indeed, “the cry of home.” Home, you see, is not here. But it is not there either. It’s ahead.

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3 Comments on “Home”

  1. David Farnsworth says:

    Thanks Beth for your post. We are so excited you and Michael will be home in about six weeks. We love ya’ll very, very much. Can’t wait!!!! Love Daddy

  2. Haley says:

    Ah this just brought the tears. Well said sister. Hope to see you so soon.

  3. Joel says:

    Beth, I’m struck by your saying “the lifestyle too transitory” of China. The same description could be applied to many of the large northeastern cities here in the USA. When I studied a semester in China in 1998, I wouldn’t have described it as transitory, but I guess that’s one of the ways China has changed so much in the past 13 years…

    I hope to see you and Michael in Chattanooga, if you’re here during your visit next month.


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