December 12, 2013

Dual Citizenship: Where is Home?

Where is home?

Guatemala is where we have lived for about three years. It is the first place we lived as a married couple. It is where we had our first child. It is where I worked my first teaching job. It is where we have made many great friends and have experienced many new things.

Yet, at times, it feels like something is missing. 

Maybe it's because Guatemala will never be the place we grew up for twenty-plus years. Or the fact that our families will never be a drive away. Or that we will never fully understand the culture or fluently speak the language. Maybe it's because we will never miraculously grow long black hair or shrink ten inches. Or because Jocelyn's clothes size will never equal her age. Maybe it's simply because we are minorities, and we will never completely fit in.

(Jocelyn's passports. Perks of dual citizenship.)

So is the United States home?

It's the place we grew up for twenty-plus years. Our families are there. We understand the culture and speak the language. There are other tall people and big babies. When people ask where I'm from, I always say Michigan. When I picture home, I picture Byron Center.

But at times, it feels like something is missing there too.

Maybe because whenever we go to the US we are technically on vacation and live at our parents' homes. Maybe because every time we say hello, a few days or weeks later we have to say goodbye again. Maybe because the thought of owning a car, getting insurance, and buying a house seem daunting. And maybe because we realize at times how Guatemala is slowly influencing us, and that not eating rice twice a week and arriving to places on time seem a little scary too.

So where is home?

(One month old US passport pic.)

I'd like to think that we are not home yet. 

Because realizing that we are not home yet gives us hope. Yes, we are citizens of the United States, Jocelyn, a dual citizen of Guatemala. But as children of Christ we are all dual citizens of an even better "home." A home that's perfect, heavenly actually.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.

(4 month old GUA passport pic.)

And because of this, we have hope. We have hope that the places we live, that this world, is not all there is left for us. 

We have hope that the days we feel like we don't fit in, the days we don't feel complete, the days we feel empty or worthless, will someday come to an end. We have hope that this fallen world full of sin will someday be purified and made new. We have hope that our own personal brokenness will someday be fixed. 

We have hope that the poor shoeshine boys scrounging for customers and a few coins for food will someday never go hungry again. We have hope that although cancer may cause death, there is someone greater who promises eternal life without sickness.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.

(She will always carry Guatemala with her.)
And most excitingly, we have hope that one day all eyes will be opened to the absolute Truth.

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

All of this hope, because we are not yet home.

(Our little dual citizen. And soccer jerseys from our Secret Santas!)

(Proud to be a Xelaju "Super Chiva.")
(And a Michigan Wolverine.)
(And a Minnesota Viking.)

So, how are you? Has it been a rough day? Week? Couple of years? Do you feel like something is missing? That life feels broken? Embrace what you’re struggling with and the emotions you are experiencing. There’s no need to pretend everything is okay. But also, hang on to that hope, that whatever you are going through will someday be healed, fixed, and filled...forever.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.

(Hope that mommy will stop taking pictures if I smile.)

(Interesting Fact: Guatemalans have two last names, as they take on both their father and mother's last names. So no matter how hard I try, I can't quite shed the "Potgeter" name. Although Guatemala is trying to change it a little. :) 

Grace and Peace,

PS. And now, we disappear from writing for a few weeks, as we fly out on Saturday! We can hardly wait! Merry Christmas, everyone!