Sunday, April 23, 2017


May 1st will mark five years that I've lived in Memphis. Incredibly, five years is the longest I've spent living in one place. Growing up, I lived in Indianapolis, St. Louis, a small town in Alabama, Nashville and now Memphis.

I moved to Memphis when I was sixteen, but for the past five years, it's never really felt like home. Honestly, when people ask me where I'm from, I never know how to answer. I usually just say that I was born in Indianapolis but now I live in Tennessee. I definitely don't consider myself to be "from the South" even though I've spent 13 out of my 21 years living in the South. I guess a part of me will always consider the Nashville area "home" just because I lived there during my high school years, so I feel like my most formidable years were spent there. But, I moved from Nashville and haven't been back in over a year. It obviously isn't my home any more.

In four months, I'll be leaving Memphis to move to Budapest, Hungary. Now that I'm mentally preparing myself for leaving Memphis, this city has started to feel a bit more like home to me. Weird, right? Now that I'm leaving, I finally feel at home in Memphis. I'm beginning to recognize things I'll miss: my favorite park, my drive home from work, my favorite dessert spot, Redbirds games...I've never truly appreciated these things until the past week or so.

I think part of the reason I haven't felt at home in Memphis is because I never expected to be here long. Nevertheless, I've lived here for nearly five years--longer than any other place I've lived--and now I'm moving. Soon, Budapest will be "home" and Memphis will be where I come back to visit family. I'm super excited about this transition and truly can't wait to be living and working in Hungary.
 But, I'm left wondering how long it'll take until Budapest feels like "home" to me. It took five years of living in Memphis for it to even begin to feel like my home. How long will Budapest take? I'm moving somewhere where I don't even speak the language.  Everything about living in a city will be new to me--especially public transportation. I'm eager for this change to come, yet I expect many struggles along the way. I'll settle eventually, and everything that's new will soon become familiar to me. It'll feel like "home" sooner or later.

This upcoming transition has me thinking about what really makes a place "home." I don't think it's just where someone lives. I still hold onto Nashville as being at least partly my home. I think it's the people and the memories and the experiences that make a place home. Living in Memphis, I've struggled a lot and I think that's why it hasn't felt like home until recently. My life in Nashville was completely different, and I have much better memories of my years spent there. That's why it still feels like my home. Now that I've grown to appreciate Memphis more, I can finally consider it to be more like home to me.

Nevertheless, none of the cities that I've lived in are truly my home. I know that one day Jesus will return and believers will be brought up to spent eternity with Him. Whether in Heaven or the New Earth, I'll be at my true home when Christ returns. I won't have to struggle with identifying my home. It won't take me five years to settle down and finally consider Heaven "home." I won't be homesick because I'll be in my eternal home. The struggles that I'm encountering now pending my transition to living in a new country won't exist when I'm finally home where I belong. For now, I'll take the confusion and difficulties associated with this home because Christ gives us hope for an eternal home with Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment