My Bucket List isn't like most. So far -- 1. Visit Cambodia and 2. Visit South Sudan. Two places with tragic, scarred histories that I want to experience. I want to walk the path that the Khmer Rouge used to clear the cities during their takeover. I want to see the people displaced in Sudan and care for them as they continue to struggle.
Alas, these are places I just want to visit, they aren't my home. I know where my homes are--with my family in the US and with my family in Guatemala. (Having two homes just seems so fancy.) Each of us can understand the need for and comfort of family. It's the familiarity of the people who love you, the safety and comfort of your home, the support of community. But what if I asked you to consider another home, away from those comforts? Without extended family? Without the comforts of the life that you have built? Without the security of the known?
Your second home can be anywhere -- one mile or 5,000 miles away. There are barriers -- language, financial, cultural, loneliness, fear -- but it's the place where you are called to make a difference. This is where you go when you choose to be obedient and trust in God's plan instead of our narrow field of vision.
Yesterday confirmed for me that Guatemala truly is my home. Out of the airport, Abel found me before I saw him. My friend was waiting to welcome me. (and thankfully help me with my 100 pounds of donations and gifts) Walking into the mission house was like coming home, back to that familiarity of home. The first trip in that door was different though. When I came here in 2011 I only knew a couple words in Spanish, I didn't know anyone we would meet here, I didn't even know what Guatemala really looked like. But, we came because we trusted.
That trust saved and changed me. My life refocused on more than myself and my family. I found where I belong. In this place there are friends who share their life with me, not as an acquaintance but as family. There is love and excitement. Confirmation comes in the form of long, tight hugs from the Special Mothers and children. Joy is found in two bears laying on tiny bunk beds that are treasured gifts for my kids. Relationship is sharing about my family with them. Everyone, even the kids, asks for Brandon when I come without him because he is their family too.
When you find your home, you find love. That love sets you free to be confident in the passion stirring in your soul. In 2011 I was uncomfortable with the special needs kids and teen moms at the state orphanage. This time, I'm planning a special activity with those moms to help them learn to value and love themselves. Who saw that coming?
These, my friends are the rewards for being just brave enough to trust that nudging that won't go away. Find the place where you are called and then go back, again and again. Drive across town, Skype, email, send letters, board a plane. Build relationships however you are able because that is what sustains long-term change.
This second home is a better investment than a beach house. Will you seek yours?