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When does Where You Live Become Where You’re From?

June 13, 2011

This week at Scripture Dig we will be highlighting the team’s favorite “Sandra posts!” When I spotted this one below I knew immediately this is the one I wanted to share with you. Sandra’s words express my feelings exactly. My husband has recently been transferred. We will be making our 6th move as a family this summer!

I lived 18 years in Duncan, OK. Then 3 months in Pearland, TX. 4 years of college in Abilene, TX. 1 year in Allen, TX. A few months in Bakersfield, CA. Then six years around the Raleigh, NC area. Now I live in south/central Penn. When someone asks, “Where are you from?” this easy question is actually difficult for me to answer. When does where you live become where you’re from?

When you’re in school, where you’re from is not a question about where you live. You are expected to be from somewhere other than where you live. My college and seminary directories both listed my name, phone number, address, and home town. This assumed my address did not tell my hometown.

But while in seminary I married a local boy (from Raleigh) and had two kids. I still struggled to say that I was from there, even though my little family was from there and we lived there.

Now that we live in Pennsylvania, it’s even harder for me to say where I’m from. Do you want to know where I grew up (this question is usually to figure out my accent), where I moved from, or where I live now? You can see how this question can lead to a five minute story.

When I went out to eat this week with my mom, sisters, niece, and sons the hostess asked, “Where are you from?” My first answer is usually, “Texas,” but since I was in Texas this wouldn’t work. So I said, “We live in Pennsylvania.” I immediately felt guilty. My husband and I love our new church. We love the area where we live. We hope to be there for years and years! So when will I be able to say that I’m from there?

Those of us who are taken to places other than our “homes” for ministry have a hard time feeling permanent there. But I am where God has placed me. Acts 17: 26 says, “…[God] has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings…” So it is not my husband, our church, or a job that has placed me where I live but God. To not put down roots where He has placed me is to doubt His love, wisdom, and plan for my life. So, I’ll get on Facebook right now and change my “hometown.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2011 10:12 am

    What a great post, I’ve never felt ‘home’ in any of the places I’ve lived, except out in God’s wilderness creation…so saying, “Where you are from” is very interesting to me. I was born in a place, I grew up elsewhere and have moved around since, but where is ‘home’? Where my heart is I guess!

  2. June 13, 2011 4:48 pm

    I love this contemplation. I actually say I’m “from” two different places – both from the town I live in now (I’ve been here a long time and enjoy it) and from the mountains where I grew up (my heart still has a tie to the mountains). When I did temporarily live somewhere else, I distinguished “live,” too.

    Whatever the case, I’m “from” God, as are we all, aren’t we? What a blessing! And thank you for this reminder to be His servant wherever we are from or live.

  3. Julie Sanders permalink
    June 13, 2011 7:21 pm

    As someone who has moved a lot in life, I love this perspective and the Biblical encouragement to know that God has set me where I am, and that makes it “home.” I’m looking forward to the day when I’ll be in my forever “home” as a citizen of heaven, never to move again.

  4. June 14, 2011 9:26 pm

    What a blessing. All this is our temporary home until we meet the Lord.

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