Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Since we decided to move back to Canada nearly a year ago, we've become familiar with "The Question". You know, the one that doesn't have a proper answer no matter which way you cut it. The one that seems simple enough, unless you're the one being asked. The question that makes you stop and take stock.

"Are you excited to go home?"

Yeah, that question. After all, the whole question is loaded. It starts with "excited". What does that mean, anyway? Like jumping up and down, can't wait? Or like do I see possibilities ahead of us? Ok, I'm excited for what God's going to do. That's as far as I can manage.

"Go." It's brim full of leaving and saying goodbye. It means an ending to something, a leaving behind of something. Am I glad to leave this life behind? Umm... not really. I mean, I won't miss the potholes in the roads, the ants on my counter, the geckos that keep me awake, the roar of roosters and dogs, the loud music in malls, the getting stared at when I go out. But am I happy to go, to leave? No. When it comes right down to it, I've been living my dreams and we love our team, our friends, our life. What would make us want to go? I'll be happy to arrive, to see my friends, to begin a new venture. That's as much as I can manage.

Then there's the "h" word: Home. What makes Canada "home"? Having spent nearly our whole lives overseas, why would we expect to feel at home in Canada? What makes a place home, and have we created a new one in the Philippines? What's home, and will we arrive there? Some of Garry's family is in Canada. We have great friends there, people we connect with and know and appreciate. We have an amazing Church Family. Those are the things that we think of when we think of Canada. We think we can make Canada home. That's as honest as I can manage.

So, I'm not sure Canada is home or that we're excited to go. Mentally swap places with me (us) if you can, and let me know what you think.

Meanwhile, it's time to finish the trip!


Donna Amis Davis said...

Wow, Cynthia. You said it so very, very well. I just love this. I could have written it myself, but perhaps not half so eloquently, just substituting 'California' for 'Canada.'

Bobbi said...

Well said, Cynthia! After 20 years in AZ, I still don't always feel like we've found home yet. Maybe for a Christian it's difficult to find "home" because heaven is our home. All I know is I always seem to have a longing for somewhere that's not here.

The Roundy 7 said...

for me home is as much a feeling as it is a physical residence. This I've learned well the last couple years. I am not sure we are supposed to ever feel like we are "home". That would mean rest, relaxation and lets face it, as long as there is breath there is work to be done in God's Kingdom. Just my thoughts from one who doesn't always feel like she is home even while gardening in her urban plot.

Our Mission said...

Praying for you, Cynthia, and for your boys... I understand all of these emotions - thank you for sharing them!
Hugs from Camie

Gary and Stacie Elliott said...

Thanks for putting into such eloquent words how one feels when you are called to move. There is such a tearing of ones heart as you say those good byes to dear friends and family. I had very simular feelings when we arrived back stateside 6 years ago. It takes time to adjust and build new memories with friends and family here. This is when it gets challenging when God calls you again to move. I remember Dave Abbotts message one Sunday at Aritao, Are you still willing to go where God wants you to go? You think well I've already answered His call to go, but then things happen and He may move you to some unfamiliar island or place, are you still willing to go? I say yes, but that isn't always easy as those feelings of leaving come back again.

Garry and Cynthia Barkman said...

thanks for the great comments. Yes, as believers we are heading for our ultimate Home, and we will arrive safely there by grace. But the journey on this planet seems marked by comings and goings, changes and routines.

It has interested me how much response this has provoked. Thank you! Thank for your caring and for sharing bits of your stories.

Donna, praying for you as you transition also!

Bobbi, I love knowing that it isn't a matter of time:). Looking forward to catching up with you guys!

Roundy 7, thanks. "A feeling" sums it up well!

Our mission, thanks for the prayers. Hugs to you and yours also..

Gary & Stacie, yes, the tearing and feelings of leavings.

So thankful for grace and for friends who demonstrate it and live it!