Homecoming Part III: Arrival

It resembled a place she once called home. Nostalgic memories flooded her mind on the drive from the airport.

The streets were familiar. She could trace the route home in her sleep. Not much change. Just dilapidation.

Everywhere she looked, the city was painted with struggle, hopelessness. People missioning to and fro for very little. Money was scarce. Needs were many.

Arriving at their destination, the joy of home filled her. How she loved the large garden and warmness of the house. But she was sad too. Sad to see the house standing – no longer in its former glory, but a stagnant replica of what was.

In spite of it all, she was relieved to be home. A place she could call home and be welcomed with open arms.

The heat bore at her. When the rain came, she welcomed the breeze it brought. The hot earth had always been a metaphor of the struggle of her homeland. Scorching, unforgiving, uncomfortable, tiring and in desperate need of a cooling balm.

Mother lightened her spirit. She’d bought all her favourite local foods and made sure she was comfortable. So typically her. Always wanting to make sure others were alright. It felt good to be taken care of.

She was amazed at how quiet she became. Referred to as the ‘loud one’ in the family, she didn’t have much to say. She was an observer. Doing as told. Adhering to cultural norms. Realising she needed to take care of the parents and the home.

Was this what life was going to be? A constant state of wander? She needed to get a game plan in order. And fast.

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Homecoming Part II: Courage

She knew what she had to do. Ought to do. She couldn’t continue in wonder without purpose. Far from having it all figured out, she had to dive all in.

Her body screamed at her. Rejecting everything she was to do.

Puzzled and perplexed. The faces that stared back at her when she spoke of her decision. Was she sure this was the right move?

Everything screamed no. But peace whispered a certain “yes”. Something that she found hard to describe.

It took all the courage in her to make this decision without feeling like a failure or that she was moving backwards.

And she was grateful for this courage. She didn’t know how she would make it otherwise. Going against her innate fears.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed. for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

Homecoming Part I: Anxiety

The moment she realised her reality. The moment all her fears and anxieties flooded over her. She could barely breathe, fighting for air.

This isn’t the way she’d planned for things to turn out. This was not the plan. She felt disconnected in a world where connections were everything. Ruin was hers.

She’d be going home exactly as she’d left a decade ago. Nothing to show for herself. Nothing to her name except her name.

Was she an utter failure? Was she a disappointment to her parents? Had she let herself down?

As these insecurities gripped her in a choke hold, she had to fight the reality of her existence. She had to come to terms with living under her parents roof again.

Her story was meant to be different. Not this trajectory that was headed for oblivion. She was supposed to be somebody. Do something special. Change the world.

Her greatest fear was that the toxicity of home would corrode the little bit of hope she had left. Eating at her soul. Ridding her of every dream passion, ambition and hope she had. Leaving her listless, numb, void and despondent. Where one day she’d wake up horrified to see whom she’d become.

Anxiety. Choking, groping, kicking, screaming, drowning.

And then she hated herself. Was she so stuck up that she thought those who had stayed behind were failures? Was she so far removed? Her mother quipping “how do you think millions of us have survived all these years?”

No, she wasn’t better than them. At least she didn’t think she was. But she’d been fortunate to receive a ticket out of hustle and poverty. And what had she done with it?

Nothing.

In spite of all this, she knew this was a move she had to make. In spite of her anxiety.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1