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.”
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.