Returning to Pasadena was really difficult. When I go back to TN to visit, it feels like going home. When I lived in Chicago, anytime I left and came back, it felt like going home. Even over Christmas when I went to Chicago for a short visit, even though I don’t live there anymore, it felt like going home. There is always that sigh of relief… ahhh, home. Coming back to Pasadena… more like a sigh of resignation.
I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s that I have a mindset that this is a transient phase. Maybe I’m not allowing myself to feel at home. Maybe California is just… weird.
Whatever it is, I don’t feel at home here. My first couple weeks back were really difficult. I spent most of last quarter trying to adapt to this sudden change from being completely entrenched in family and community to having few friendships and very little intimacy. Just as I started to feel settled, it’s time for break and I go back to the very places I was trying to shift away from. My time in Chicago was like a much needed oasis. I will forever be greatful for my family and community there. My time at home was also beautiful, with the exception of the fire, although we are seeing blessing even in the tragedy. So I return and the bleakness of my lack of community slaps me in the face, day after day.
But God is faithful. Everyday he gives me new reminders that even though I don’t have the same level of intimacy here as I do in my other two homes, foundations are being laid. I had a moment of revelation the other day talking to my roommate. I’m not sure where it came from, but I heard myself say, “we can’t be so focused on last year’s harvest that we forget to plant this year’s seed.” Hmmm… something for me to ponder.
Pasadena isn’t home… maybe one day it will be…maybe it never will be. But God has brought me here for a specific purpose and in that purpose there are specific relationships that are to be built and cultivated. Even if I never feel at home in California, perhaps soon I will feel at home in the community God is creating around me.