When I moved to England in 2014, the first few days felt like I was living in an alternate reality. The unfamiliar sights and sounds made something as simple as walking to the grocery store feel like a life-defining moment. England’s air smelled older and wetter than America’s. Its golden coins looked like pirate booty. And its cashiers called me “love” and “flower.”
It was all so exhilarating, but I couldn’t help feeling simultaneously alone. All the people I knew were living their lives 3,000 miles away, and Philadelphia—my home—felt like it existed on another planet. I was lost in unfamiliar territory.
One morning during my second week in England, just when all the fun foreign accents and customs began to make me feel homesick, an old college friend sent me a Facebook message.
Hey! she said, I just saw that you’ve moved to England. I’m living here too! Want to grab lunch tomorrow?
When we met up the next day, we chatted about our time in England and reminisced about our college days. We meandered through the streets in the foreign city that was my new home. And after we hugged goodbye, England was different to me. Seeing a familiar face in an unfamiliar place made me feel at home.
I think of this experience whenever I embark on an adventure, like a new home or job or relationship. No matter where I am, God is there with me. God is that familiar friend who finds me in unfamiliar places. God offers me a sense of home wherever I am.
Are you living in unfamiliar territory today? If so, you can reflect on God’s promises to be with you no matter where you are:
- For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.”
Let us be bold, then, and say,
“The Lord is my helper,
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?” —Hebrews 13:5b-6 (GNTD)
- The Lord will not abandon his people;
he will not desert those who belong to him.— Psalm 94:14 (GNTD)
- Those who know you, Lord, will trust you;
you do not abandon anyone who comes to you. —Psalm 9:10 (GNTD)
- I will be with you always, to the end of the age. — Matthew 28:20b (GNTD)
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