The MAF Blog: Worldwide Pulse

Leaving Home (and Finding it Again)

Posted on: July 30th, 2014 by Jonathan Smith  |  2 Comments

Jonathan (center) with his friend, Dani (right), and another friend, Andrew (left).

Jonathan (center) with his friend, Dani (right), and another friend, Andrew (left).

You know that moment when you’re hugging your friend, and you won’t let them go because you don’t know when you’ll ever see them again? I had quite a few of those moments as I packed my bags, graduated from High School, and then left Indonesia. It seemed like every day was a new goodbye, another teary face whispering prayers.

Leaving my home in Papua was, of course, bittersweet. Bitter, because of the memories I’ve made and the places and people I’m leaving behind. Sweet, since it means I have a new home ahead of me, one that God will reveal as I move to new places and meet new people. I’ve found that home follows the heart. So, if I live in the moment, and direct my heart at the people around me, I will find home.

For now, that’s with my relatives, as I stay and hang out with them in Canada, catching up after a few years away. In another month or so, home will be at my university campus as I start my freshman year.

Fortunately, I’ve learned some things over the last few years that will help me adjust to new people and places, and find home wherever I am:

1. Take time when you’re alone to dwell on the past so that you don’t do it when you’re with new people.

2. Talk to people and be interested in them, even when they don’t look approachable; often that’s just your own judgment—and it’s wrong.

3. Trust God to change your heart, and spend lots of time with Him.

Now that most of the goodbyes are behind me, I’m looking forward to my next home and all that God has in store for me…

But, wait. I need to say “goodbye” here. This will be my last post on the MAF blog. Thank you for being such a captive audience and letting me share my MK life with you. As I leave, maybe you’d like to respond with your own thoughts about home… or leave a piece of advice for me. Or simply pray for me. That would be the best parting gift of all. God bless!

  • Linda Popkes

    I left “home” in Africa over forty years ago but I can relate so well to what you are experiencing. God does provide new friends and experiences…you do have the right approach. My dad was a MAF pilot for many years. Not sure where you are in CAnada but good MAF people have retired to London, Ontario..(Hugh and Norma Beck). God will provide and you will bless others with your unique perspective on life. Praying for you!!!!

  • Sarah

    I find this very applicable as I’m leaving home for the first time in a couple of weeks. Thanks for your insights – I will take them to heart and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for me in my new “home”!

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