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Where are you from?

Where is home for you? Discover what it means to belong to this world, and to belong to Christ.

When I was around ten, I moved to the UK to start my life over with my family. We moved over from the poverty of Romania in order to find a better life. I grew up in the UK, I lived their culture, their language, their mannerisms. I can say that who I am today is on the most part influenced by the English land of where I found my life-long friends, where I learnt to express myself, learnt who I was, what I liked and what I didn't.

However, to this day (at 26-years-old), I still get people coming up to me asking me where I am from. For so long this bothered me as I worked so hard to achieve that accent, to show them that I was just as much one of them. However, that question still followed me everywhere I went.

You might be wondering, what's the big deal, that's where you were born, that's where you're from. But that wasn't what bothered me: what it was, was that when I answered Romania, it's like something clicked. The whole conversation shifted and their eyes were 'open'. "Ah, right!" they would answer with a subtle nod of the head and a smirk on their lips as if to say, "oh yes, now I understand".

So many people then turned around (sometimes physically) after finding out, and moved on to the next person because I wasn't English: so I didn't have the capability to relate to them, or start a relationship with them.

We should not aspire to associate, relate, become a part of this world or even stand out in it.

When it comes to our identity and the so-called question of 'where we are from', or 'where we belong', it comes down to where do you have your sight set? Where is your focus?

All I know is that when I have my eyes completely fixed on the Lord, focused on Him like nothing else and my life is truly revolving around him, I feel stable, secure, I feel like I am exactly where I need to be. I have a home that I belong to and nothing in this world matters.

But the minute that I turn my eyes away from Him, that I look away onto this world, and onto “what I’m missing”—(what the devil tells me I’m missing). I look at how other people live their lives, how they earn their money, how they find happiness, status, romance, relationships, dreams and careers, how they find success and wealth. The minute I turn my eyes to that, a wondering hits that has me questioning and flying out in thought.

The ironic thing is that sometimes it is the very people in our homes and social spaces that can influence those doubts. Being attacked isn't always by atheists on the streets or religious people judging you for how you live your life.

This world is messed up and evil, and having anything to do with it is not something we should aspire to. We should not aspire to associate, relate or become a part of this world or even stand out in it. Sometimes we say, okay, I won't be a part of this world, I'll stand out in it. But the ironic thing is that we still want to stand out in the way the world wants us to stand out. Hence, we're still part of it. Standing out the right way means choosing Christ every day, in every activity and even in our very speech. That kind of standing out may prove difficult at first and seem negative for a while, but that's just proof that you're not trying to stand out for the sake of the world, but you're merely following the Jesus that called you. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.

What does that mean? It means solitude, hardship, disapproval from a lot of people, misunderstandings, judgement. It means loneliness. But it also means eternal life. It means that the saviour of the world looks at me and says “good.” Jesus is the one who approves of me. If He approves, what does it matter of everyone else's disapproval?

We should want our lives to always bring glory to God. To have our hearts and minds be completely set on that, with not even a flinch of hesitation.

Would you rather associate with the bad and some of the good of this earth, or associate with absolute perfection?

I’d like to say that we should stop having these derails and distractions in our lives anymore, but I don’t know if that’s something so easily controlled as we are still human and very much flawed. Doubts will come. But it’s the grace to recognise it that we need: to recognise when those thoughts come to mind, and shake them off much faster each time.

We are not of this world. And that is something to celebrate. There is certainly some good in the world, but when we associate with the world, we don’t associate with the good, we associate with the bad and the good. And in time, the devil will twist the good and strangle it out of your life until you're left with nothing but addiction to sin and depression. It's scary how easy it is to lose the good out of your life when Jesus isn't in it.

It's scary how easy it is to lose the good out of your life when Jesus isn't in it.

So what would you rather do? Associate with the bad and some of the good of this earth, the unstable balance that could change in the space of a moment? Or would you rather associate with absolute perfection? The kind that is everlasting, eternal and overflowing.

If you haven't chosen Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, give Him a chance today. Just try it and see if the joy you've experienced previously compares to Him at all. If Jesus' joy has the same stability, strength and power with the one you had in the world, I'll admit defeat. But if not, then you might find more than what you're looking for in this God who gave His life for you. You could find peace, true love, abounding joy, and most importantly, you'll find home.

I learnt one thing whilst trying to convince people of where I am from. If I will be judged for my answer to that question anyway, why not tell them of my upcoming home instead: Heaven. So from now on, when people ask where I'm from, it'll be a perfect opportunity to share with them my real heavenly heritage!

Let's keep our eyes set on Christ for He always reminds us that we have everything we could want or need right behind His eyes.


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