When moving “home” is the harder thing

“One day, we will do the harder thing and move home.”

I said that for six years. The ironic thing is that “home” could be eight or nine different places for us. But when I said this, I meant moving to the United States.

Confession: Life as a privileged minority in a booming economy is easy. You can do what you want with minimal judgement or hardships. Sure, life outside your “passport country” can be extra stressful, exhausting, and very lonely. But mostly, it’s good.

Going home is hard. Pride roars up that you’ve failed. Insecurities whisper too loud that you’ll never fit back in (not that I want to fit back in). We look normal and the same as before. But we aren’t. We’ve had a simple family rhythm living in that other country. My little family has exchanged pieces of our hearts for shared memories in at least 10 countries.

I’m told re-entry is hard because no one cares. No one wants to hear your 1st hand war stories. Or how great it is to see Petra, Jordan with little boys. Or how you miss the traditional clothing and the smells.

There is no glamour in finishing your time in a place, and moving when God says it’s time. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be: Making the quiet choices.

I’m reading a book right now that GETS IT:

Notes from the Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider.

As we start over, in our home country but a new town, we are constantly faced with the question of how to live the life we prefer here. What’s the goal? How should we prioritize so many good choices?

Tsh gets it: being an expat, moving back to our busy home country, loving both places, and wanting to be simply intentional about ALL the choices in front of us.

For others who are returning to their passport country after a few years away, I’ve also found this community, Velvet Ashes, to be an outstanding resource. These sacred souls even have an email series to direct you through questions to ask yourself to help ease the transition process.


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2 thoughts on “When moving “home” is the harder thing

  1. I would love to understan the transition issues facing you. You raise very real thoughts and emotions. Are your boys transitioning well?


    • They change daily and usually catch me completely by surprise. This week I CAN NOT handle the amount of small talk and communication required to check out at the grocery, go to a garage sale, and generally go about society. It feels intrusive and very fake. My mind knows that it’s part of the American culture and I will get used to it. But for now, I have to seriously fight anxiety about it


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