Just know you’re not alone

before we left pittsburgh, my heart's home, in the weeks drawing us closer to our big move, i sat in our car outside of 5443 and sobbed while this song, "home" played on the radio.  i smeared those tears down into my skin and picked up the bags of groceries and headed inside.

i bring this up now--almost 3 months from our departure--because my dear sister-friend sent me a blog post from another woman who also uprooted her life and family to move far away.  and in that post, she shared how this song brought comfort.  i listen to it again tonight and still feel the ache and the longing to be back home.  the faces of friends drift in and out of my thoughts paired with the image of that house of ours and the city we knew.  i am not as sorrowful as i was 3 months ago.  mostly i'm a knot of uncertain soul and mind--one footprint fading in pittsburgh and the other foot hovering over this place here.  not quite sure i want to plant it down and say out loud that doha is now my home.

we didn't celebrate thanksgiving yesterday.  it really didn't feel like it and of course is not a holiday here.  so i felt the ache again and remembered thanksgivings in pittsburgh.  and even last year, thanksgiving in the hospital with my newborn, and coming home thanksgiving night with friends at our door with a meal.  we gave thanks.  despite the sadness and longing, yesterday, there was a strange and unexpected resolve in my heart, that i truly was thankful to be with the ones i love the most.  i am here, with them.  i am not alone.

this was my status update on facebook:

I am so thankful to be with the ones I love the most today. Even though it's just another day in Doha, and I am very sad to miss out on my fave holiday back in the states, I have all that I need right here. It really is true. I never would have imagined last year eating t-day lunch in the hospital holding my newborn, and I would have never guessed I'd be living in the Middle East this t-day. But I was always with my favorite people in the whole world. Love you Ben and Sophie and Audrey and Tozer. 

if i have to be anywhere that doesn't feel like home (yet), then i really just want to be with these 3 people and this one dog.

and yet i still don't feel like this place is my home.  of course i feel the shifts in my spirit when i can roll down the windows on the car and sit outside in the garden at night and feel the cool breeze cover my body.  and i'm figuring out how to get around this city without too much anxiety.  and we are talking to people and sharing our stories, bit by bit.  but i tell myself, "don't fall in love with this place.  it's not your home."  this is a desert and a desert can't be a home.

before we left pittsburgh, a friend shared a vision with me concerning our move to doha.  she gave this picture:  a large palm tree, mighty and grounded, covered with flowing silver water flowing from top to bottom and out and down.  water abundant.  green leaves absorbing the harsh sun.  Jesus is the tree.  Jesus is in Doha and has living water.

and when we were debating whether to move here back in may, my sister-friend (other than the one from earlier in this post), shared an encouraging word:  God too is in Doha.  He is all ready there.

so not only am i with these incredible kids, a wonderful husband, and fun-loving dog; i am surrounded by Jesus and Water.

...just know you're not alone.

this place still needs to grow in my heart before i can call it home, but i'm certain i will.

here are the lyrics to the song by philip phillips:


Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home