On Being a Woman Without a Country

For those of you who dwell in caves and come into civilization only to read my blog (and if you exist, may I ask, “why THIS blog?”) the Winter Olympics were just held in my former home province.  This was a big deal for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that there are only a few cities in Canada (2?)  that don’t get consistent snowfall, and the IOC chose one of them to host an international event which requires snow.  Hmmm.

Anyway, the Olympics were hosted by Vancouver, British Columbia, a city in which I lived for four years, attended college, met the man of my dreams, was engaged and spent my (painful and horrible) first year of marriage.  It is a city in which I have friends, family, and memories, so you’d think that I would be glued to the coverage, but I found myself strangely ambivalent.  Setting aside the neo-paganism and global socialism of the whole thing, I was caught in a strange personal dilemma.  I truly did not have a “dog in the fight” as they say.  (No, dog fighting was not a demonstration sport this year.  It’s a figure of speech.)

Let me illustrate:  On February 21, Canada faced the US in a men’s hockey preliminary round and lost.  My friends here (those who cared about men’s hockey) were all delighted to remind me that Canada had been beaten at their own game, while my family in Canada announced that my guys had beaten their guys.  I was assumed to be the “enemy” (that is friendly hyperbole) by both countries and the ally of neither.

I’ve lived in Georgia almost 12 years.  Both of my children were born here.  I’ve owned two houses here.  I’ve belonged to three church families here and have built innumerable relationships.  I was born in Canada and lived there for 24 years.  I attended all of my schooling there, have all of my family (except my aunt) there, was engaged and married there and have innumerable relationships.

Both are home.

Neither are home.

It’s things like the Olympics that remind me where my true allegiances lie.  My citizenship is in heaven, and my bond is to others who share that citizenship.  The Lord could sell our house tomorrow (please, Lord) and move us to Botswana, Africa the next day (that wasn’t part of the prayer, Lord), but we would still find family, kinsmen, fellow sojourners who know that this world isn’t their home.  The Olympics reminds me that I don’t choose between the country of my birth and the country of my choice.  Instead I belong to a people of God’s choosing from every tribe, tongue, and nation.

The Olympics reminded me that here on earth, nowhere is home, but my family is every where.


4 thoughts on “On Being a Woman Without a Country

  1. Amen, sister! Having spent 4 working summers in northern BC., gone to school there for 6 years, but U.S. born and raised and living now, and honestly quite surprised I married a U.S. citizen . . . . I felt the same in some ways! Obviously not to the extent you do. We went to church Sunday where everything on the overhead was written in English, then Korean, then Chinese . . and I saw no less than 5 ethnic groups represented around me (um, the white people were VERY RARE!) . . . and I have been reading through the book of Revelation recently where it emphasizes so much the “every tribe and nation and tongue”, and most certainly our Heavenly Home and final destination. I didn’t follow the Olympics much (would have liked to), but it’s nice to know we train for something eternal too . . physical discipline is of great benefit for sure, but godly discipline is even more beneficial in every single way (oh what’s that verse??); I haven’t been approaching my life with as much “godly discipline” as those athletes approach their sports . . puts me to shame! What an inspiration to do better. For my Heavenly Home. And for the world God desires to bring there too . . .

  2. Tears in my eyes…your words resonate with me.

    It’s so true. I know I spend way too much time worrying about earthly things when I should be concentrating more on Heaven. I am glad that we get to be part of the same family with the same eternal home!

    Thanks for the consistent reminder to look Heaven-wards 🙂

  3. Just a side note. Our guys most assuredly did finally beat your guys. They did. Ambivalent or no, your post may have left some unsure.

    Also, are you trying to say that hockey isn’t heavenly? You *have* been out of Canada a long time 🙂

  4. I don’t have the earthly issue with a country (100% American), but it is a great reminder that this isn’t our home. Our home is in Heaven. Things of this world will pass away, but God will not.

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