Don’t forget where you belong: My journey to finding home


“Where are you from?” 

Growing up, I hated this question. Yet, whenever I met someone new, it always seemed to be an unavoidable topic. To most, this may seem like a simple inquiry that can be answered with a few words. But to me, it was just a reminder that I did not have a place to call home. 

You see, growing up I moved a lot. I was born in Guatemala, but had family in Costa Rica and Honduras, where my dad and mom, respectively, are from. When I was still a toddler, I moved to Argentina, where my younger brother was born. A few years later, my father was called to work in Chile; and, so, we mixed yet another culture into our family. 

“Where are you from?”

We lived in Chile for eight years, and for the longest time this was home. But one day my world took a turn when I found out that my family was moving to the Philippines. This transition was heartbreaking. Not only did I experience a huge culture shock, but my reality was shattered. Within a few months, I realized that Chile — though I loved it wholeheartedly —was not really home. I had no family there, and life for my friends had continued without me.

As time went by, I also realized something else: Though the Philippines won my heart, I did not fully belong there either. 

“Where are you from?”

That question would frustrate me like nothing else. I was confused, and I was mad at myself for being confused. How could I not answer such simple words? I wanted to belong somewhere. I wanted to find a place I could call home. I thought visiting family in Costa Rica and Honduras would show me that I had a place of which to be a part. But when we traveled there for Christmas, I was left even more puzzled:  I did not fit in there either. 

“Where are you from?”

Feeling like someone without a land, I sometimes would cry. I felt odd. I felt lost. You never realize how much a “home” means until you realize you don’t have one. It was like I could be happy in one place, but never fully content. 

Then I came across Hebrews 11, the Bible’s Hall of Faith. This chapter talked about all these amazing men who, despite being tempted by the world, lived for God. As I read, a passage 

stood out to me. Hebrews 11:13:

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” 

In an instant, it became clear.  The reason I couldn’t find where I belonged was because I was looking in the wrong places. The faithful men of Hebrews 11 knew that their home was not of this world. They did not mind being left out by society because they knew they were but pilgrims passing through. They had a heavenly kingdom waiting for them, and so did I.

“Where are you from?”

It might be the same for you. Sometimes you might feel out of place or feel like you don’t fit in. Sometimes you might feel like you have to try hard in order to be accepted. But remember that in this world, we are only strangers waiting for our home.

After the Philippines, I’ve continued to move and find cultural clashes wherever I go. But it doesn’t matter to me anymore because I know where I belong. 

Do you? 

Where are YOU from?

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