From The Girl Who Has Never Been Homesick

November 21, 2016

Back in July, I gave a talk at a weekend retreat for an organization called TEC. I

basically had poured the toughest parts of my life out on paper and shared it with a

room full of people I had just met that weekend along with my closest friends and a few

guests I was allowed to invite. At the end, I was allowed to play one song while I

received hugs from my family and everyone else in the room. The song I chose was

Brothers by Needtobreathe. The lyrics perfectly describe the desperate need for love

and support of others; my talk proved that I—as well as every other human being—can’t

make it through this life alone. Every squeezing hug, tearful smile, and heartfelt prayer

from this talk showed me how much love and support I have and how much I have

given. To this day, I cannot listen to that song without returning to these moments and

choking up or letting a tear hit the ground.

Since I was little, I always loved adventure. I loved being away from home and

trying new things. I was the girl that could easily go on a mission trip for a few weeks

and call my mom crying because I didn’t want to come back. I had never been homesick

before because I loved exploring life outside of my home. I was always with someone I

knew—whether it be with my youth group on mission trips or with my closest friends at a

TEC retreat—so I was unafraid to face the new.

I loved being away from home and trying new things. So I went to college 1,711

miles away from home at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. It’s great.

I’m going to school where I want to live, where I want to pursue my dream job, where I

want my future. I’m surrounded by new things, including homesickness. Up until a week

ago, I had never experienced homesickness before in my life, and it completely

destroyed me. I would be super happy at the beginning of the day, then out of nowhere,

I would breakdown and sob uncontrollably. Maybe it was consequences of major sleep

deprivation, or the stress from everything in my life, or my conscious finally realizing I

hadn’t seen my family and friends in months, but I couldn’t control the overwhelming

tidal wave of sorrow that had crashed over me, and I felt helpless.

In an odd sense, these past couple of weeks have been both a blessing and a

curse. I feel cursed because I don’t have a car down here, I came down here having no

friends or family here, and I can only afford to go home once. I saw this as an

opportunity to pity myself; I can’t just go on a long drive when I need a breather, I don’t

have any family to go see 20 minutes away, and I’ll only be with my family for


After I took a few days to mellow out, I realized that all the reasons I had given to

feel sorry for myself are blessings in disguise. I don’t have a car, so I can’t just drive

away from my problems; I am forced to face them. I don’t have family in state nor did I

come here knowing anyone; this is the perfect opportunity to make true friends, ones

that will mean more to me than they might ever understand. I can’t just fly home and

see my family and home-state friends when things get tough or when I miss them, but I

have video chat, and when I finally do get to spend a month at home, I will take every

blessed moment to heart.

I don’t mean to put anyone down that chooses to stay closer to home. I even

envy them a bit at times. I’m writing to let you know that sometimes, following your

dreams will be one of the most challenging things you will ever do, but you should never

take any of it for granted. I experienced something so new that it scared me, but it

helped me realize that my circumstances are only making me stronger and that I have

loving and supportive friends here, too. I am so blessed to have met such incredible

groups of people down here that are here for me as much as I am ready to be there for


The hardest thing about being homesick is not being able to be with the people

you love the most. Being away from home also makes your heart more vulnerable and

willing to open up and care for new people with the same deep love. Our heart always

finds people to love, no matter where we go. After all, “everybody needs someone

beside them”. We can’t make it through this life alone.