One of the phrases frequently used to describe the missionary’s homecoming experience is “between two worlds.” It is very true that I often feel the tension that comes from being home, but not home, regardless of which city I’m in–Fort Wayne or Dar es Salaam. In both places, there are things that are familiar. In both places, there are “my people.” In both places, there are things that make me miss the other. And in both places, I feel out of place or misplaced.
This was the word that came to mind this morning: misplaced. Yet even as I considered the implications, I realized the truth: I am not misplaced, I am placed. God has me here in Indiana at this time for a purpose. He has established my life in Tanzania for a purpose. Neither is any less a part of His will than the other. The truth is that I am His. I am chosen. I am redeemed. I have been made holy. I am adopted. I am a child of God.
Knowing the truth about my identity in Christ settles my soul, but it doesn’t make the tension of being between worlds any less. Here in Indiana, I listen to a bit of Bongo Flava to ease the longing, and in Tanzania, I break out the country music. There, I long for the open spaces of midwest farmland, and here, I miss the beaches and city life. I can’t imagine one life without the other, and both are a part of me. And maybe that is part of the beauty of where I’ve been placed…between in two worlds.