I don’t fit in and that’s OK

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…

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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.

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Keeping a child safe

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A few days ago, Jordan took a nose-dive off a bunk bed that should have been out of reach. Minus a really purple swollen eye, he had no serious injury.

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Does he look like he slowed down and learned a valuable lesson? Hardly.

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Yesterday, he got out of our yard and I couldn’t find him. This gate is right outside of ours, and leads down a steep path that drops off to the ocean. Was I scared? You bet. Frantic, really. We finally found him on the other side of our mission compound, sitting in an aluminum fishing boat (not in the water.) Did he feel bad for taking years off my life with worry? Not at all.

Clearly, I can’t be too careful with him. And don’t get me wrong, I should do everything in my power to keep him safe at such a tender age. But only God is all-powerful, and God knows the number of our days. When people tell me that children always bounce back, or that they will be fine, my bristles raise a little, because I know they don’t. My brother died in an accident when he was 7. Could those watching him have done a better job? Maybe. Did God have His hands on my brother every second? You bet. God had a plan that went so far beyond our “safety first” rule. Lives were changed. Hearts were turned towards God.

As a mother, I want my children to be safe. I naturally am concerned when they are injured, sick, or missing. But I have to remember they aren’t my children. They are God’s children. And I am so thankful for each day He gives them to me to take care of them, teach them, and one day, I will have to let them go. No one said parenting was easy.