But, I live in Florida. When you move 1,000 miles from home, that means a lot more than location. There is a different weather. There is a different culture. A different job and school. No friends in this new place. Basically everything changes.
There's no way that I could stay the same. And that is not a bad thing. I got super homesick first semester, yearning to see my family and my friends. I was sad half of the time and spent a good amount of that mourning the life that I lost when I came to Florida. Even though I knew I was in the right place, I struggled. Even though I wanted to meet people, I didn't want new friends. I hated everything that was different about UCF. I was a mess.
After I went home to Michigan for about three weeks, I came back refreshed. I was ready to jump back into school, the job, the people. I found a Bible study to join and was gung ho about getting to know them.
That trip to Michigan, while great, reminded me that I did not belong there anymore. I appreciated everyone's excitement to give me a place to stay and all of that, but nothing there was mine. As time went by, I got so excited to come back to Florida just so I could sleep in my own bed again.
This year, my perspective changed. I think that experience helped me realize that I am not who I was in Michigan. My first 6 months here, that was what I wanted. But I was reaching for something that is simply not to be.
It reminds me of the parable in Luke 5:36-39 where it mentions how you cannot put new wine into old wineskins. The new wine ends up busting the old wineskin and leaking out everywhere.
And I think that's where my problem was. I was trying to view this new experience in Florida in the context of how things were in Michigan. It just doesn't work. Like the old wineskin, I become drained and ragged. And that's not a good way to live. So, I guess we all have to see the newness for what it is - a good thing, a change. It's a beautiful thing. I find myself really looking forward to the new thing that God is doing during my time here. I don't know what to expect and that's exhilarating.