Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chapter 28: Concerning Nigeria, Musicals, and Second Christmas

I wasn't usually happy in Nigeria. I had a hard time at the school, I never felt like I fit in at a church, and it's just a generally difficult place to live your first time out of the country (I've been told by my Nigerian friends here in China that my city was one of the hardest as well - don't know how true that is). 

Even though my experience wasn't what I was hoping it would be, I still really learned a lot. And I still miss it terribly. I am thinking today of my old students, my old coworkers, my old Book study - and I wish I could see them again. I wish I could have some good Naija food and a trip to the market (even though it smells). I wish I could go to the Lebanese church to have some shawarma, and then enjoy an evening hearing the music blaring obnoxiously from a sound system somewhere in the neighborhood. I wish I could sit with my South African friends and talk about rugby.

I know that I was not supposed to be there any longer, and I am REALLY happy to be here (SO much peace about that). But now, instead of having just one home to miss, I have two.

I've shared before, via other mediums, a quote from "Into the Woods" (a great musical which I will be starring in this coming May). Jack has just climbed down from the beanstalk and he's reflecting on the experience. He says, "And you think of all of the things you've seen and you wish that you could live in between . . ."      Preach.

For those of you who have lived in two or more places (even in the same country), you know what I'm talking about. It's that pull in multiple directions. It's the knowledge that you are losing something by being where you are. It's the understanding that things will never be exactly the way you want on this side of death.

But one day - soon - all the best things of this world and far more will be revealed together. A second, eternal Christmas will bring the eternal Emmanuel.

Though it will be difficult, I can certainly wait until that day to be with all those I miss.


  1. Agreed.
    "It's the knowledge that you are losing something by being where you are." Also, knowing that if you WERE to go back to one of your homes, you would also terribly miss where you currently are.

  2. "But now, instead of having just one home to miss, I have two."

    I totally understand. I spent my first two Christmases here, HERE, and then my third year I went back to my home in the US for the holiday, and although I loved it, I was surprised to find that I missed my adopted family (t)here, and amazed that I was as sad to miss our simple annual caroling in the apartment complex as I had been to miss the grand annual M'ssiah sing-along back in the States. I think that's when I first realized what had happened/what I had done to my life - that by moving overseas and putting down roots, my heart had been split in a way that could never be put back together again this side of heaven.

    It also reminded me of a picture book about an em/immigrant by Alan Say called "Grandfather's Journey" - the line goes something like "As soon as he was in one place, he began to miss the other."

  3. I'm catching up on all the blogs of my friends overseas so that's why I'm commenting on this one today. I know how you feel as I've been in Argentina twice and now live in a small town away from all I know in the Cities (especially my fiance). Thanks for the encouragement that we will all one day be reunited in the presence of the King. I wonder if Jesus had any of those feelings after leaving Nazareth...


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