I grew up as a TCK- third culture kid. For those of you new to this term, it describes kids who are “from” one country, live in another (and have possibly lived in several countries) and so have developed their own unique culture. Hardest part about this is that there are very few people who can identify with you- who have a “shared set of values, beliefs, traditions, dress and norms.” Basically, you don’t fit in. For some of us, this is a lifelong struggle.
When I’m in one country, I miss thing about the other one.
When I’m in Africa, my skin color sets me apart- things are assumed about me- that I’m a tourist, that I have lots of money, that I don’t understand the language, that I’m willing to pay higher prices than local people, that I don’t understand…
When I’m in America, things are assumed about me- that I should love being back in my homeland of comfort, friends, family, Walmart, Mexican food, blueberries and underwear that doesn’t lose elasticity. And while I do, I’m different, and I can’t always explain that.
But here’s what I know and how I reconcile this strange identity I carry around with me. Every believer has a third culture. We are born into this world, with its beliefs, customs, and values- while it’s not the exact same “world” for every person, it’s without Christ. Then we choose a new identity- to be firmly rooted in Christ, to have a relationship with our Creator, and let Him take the reigns of our life. But we aren’t Home yet, where we will fit in. We still have to live in this world, reflecting our new identity in Christ, loving those who may not love us, serving others who may not appreciate it, and sharing Jesus with people who may reject Him. We don’t fit in, but that’s Ok. Jesus sure didn’t fit in.
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” “In this world you will have trouble… “We are all aliens, but we have an identity, and that is enough.