Advice for the Homesick

Today I remember something I learned back when I served as a camp counselor for six summers. When dealing with a homesick camper, you have to remind them that it’s perfectly OK to have a great time and miss home.

You can feel both things at once, and that’s OK.

Sometimes little campers didn’t think it was right to have so much fun at camp and miss their parents. They felt like they had to choose.

Once they felt the freedom to hold both emotions in their hearts at once, they settled down into their reality.

This morning, my youngest tells me that when we leave home, she misses her cat.

“I know. That’s OK. You can miss the cat and still have fun here. You can do both at the same time.”

She tilts her head to one side and smiles. This hasn’t occurred to her young mind before.

My husband reiterates later that one definition of emotional maturity is exactly this: You can live in the tension between opposing emotions. 

My own homesick heart–the one that longs for a spiritual home I will one day have (but not yet)–holds  longing and joy at once.

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Enjoy conflicting emotions today!

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