Finding My Tribe

Recently, I returned home to Scotland in the UK after many years living abroad. I left home for university at 17 and spent a year in Japan at 20, returning to complete my university education and move on to decide on my career, never thinking of returning to Scotland. 

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but my choices took me to London where I met my husband, and then to South Africa to raise our three children. When the politics and economics compelled us to leave our home in South Africa, we made the arduous move to New Zealand to start a better life. 

But Coronavirus had other plans for us… Our lives were turned upside down as jobs disappeared and opportunities diminished. We decided to move back to the UK. A radical and devastating move for all of us, but especially our children: uprooting and moving them across the globe twice in two years. 

In the car recently, the children reminded me that even though I lived in South Africa, I’m not South African. But I felt like I belonged in South Africa, like I had found my tribe. New Zealand never felt like my home, but I found wonderful friends who then became my new tribe. Here in Scotland, the land of my birth, the place I should call home, I feel disconnected, not part of the tribe that I thought I should be part of. I started to wonder where I really belong and what is it to belong? 

Whether I have felt I belonged in the place of my birth or the places we have lived, one thing I know is that Church is always the place I felt like I belonged. 

 “Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”
Psalm 100:3

I have often felt lost and overwhelmed but it is my faith that has given me direction and helped me find my purpose to move forward. I trust in the Lord to guide me now to help me find my new tribe and my sense of belonging once again. 

About Anne Waters

Anne is a wife, mother and career woman. She is married to Gary and has 3 children. She grew up in Scotland and went to Edinburgh University where she got an MA in Japanese. She moved to London after University and spent the next 10 years working for various Japanese and American companies using her Japanese and gaining valuable business skills. It was in London that Anne met Gary and decided to get married and have children. After their second child was born, they moved to Durban in South Africa, where they live now and where Gary is from originally. Their third child was born in South Africa. Anne is now able to be a full time mother to their three children, whilst teaching Japanese and English as a Foreign Language during the hours the children are at school. Anne was raised in the Church of Scotland and came to the New Church through marriage and has spent the last 7 years in South Africa delving deeper into the writings of the New Church with the support, love and friendship of other like-minded women in the New Church in Westville.

3 thoughts on “Finding My Tribe

  1. This struck a chord with me, Anne! It is so strange defining home when you have had different ones across the world. South Africa will forever hold such a special place in my heart, my heart home, even though Bryn Athyn is my home now… but never completely.
    But your reminder that our only true (and eternal) home is in the Lord is very comforting.
    I hope you find more roots and connections where you are now, and I hope our paths cross again one day <3

  2. Hi Anne.
    I know what you mean about tribes. about the eternal question Where do I belong? and about feeling at home in SA! I hope I’ll get to see you and reconnect in person while we live in the UK! I’m sure you’ll find your tribe, your feet, your direction in the land of your birth when you’ve been there a while. I hope so! Take care.

  3. You’ve been through a lot! I hope that Scotland starts to feel more like home as you find your earthly tribe, but how wonderful that you have the Church with you wherever you go.

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