Before I came to college, I thought that eventually I wouldn't be homesick. After my first semester it would be tolerable, I planned. After freshman year it would be doable. Then, when I returned for my second year, I wouldn't be homesick at all.
But how wrong I was.
It does get easier. It does disappear, but for me, it isn't long before the homesickness returns. And I am beginning to see that I have a disease called permanent sickness. Because as my third Easter away from home approaches, I just want to be able to go home like everyone else can. Because part of me is still sitting by the doors of my freshman dorm right where my family said goodbye, wondering why they left me.
Every time my dad tells tales of his childhood in Pennsylvania, that is the permanent homesickness.
Every time my mom thinks of her dad, that is the permanent homesickness, too.
And every time I hear them, every time I feel it myself, I think “This isn't right. But I chose it. This isn't right, but it couldn't be stopped. No matter what anyone says, this isn't right.”
But I have another kind of permanent homesickness. It is the longing I have to be with Jesus in Heaven. It is the longing Jesus felt when on earth for His Father in Heaven. It is my ultimate longing that I ashamedly forget, but my permanent homesickness helps me remember.
When I am away from my family and my mountains and my bill-board free state, I will miss them. If I decide to live in Michigan when I graduate I will miss them. If I end up moving back home, I will miss Michigan and the childhood I no longer have. But what I miss points me to something greater that I miss—my God and Savior, my eternal home. Something I should long for more, and something I will one day have for eternity.
So I am rejoicing in my permanent homesickness because one day it will be permanently erased. It is not right now, but it will be someday.