My Subliminal - Learning How to Move Forward

Thursday came and went. We had dinner with the associate pastor and his family to celebrate at least a small part of Shark Week with them before I moved off to college.

Friday came and went. We shared a meal with family friends who wanted to have Friendly's (a great restaurant that you are definitely missing out on if you don't know what it is!) with me one more time before I moved to college.

And then Saturday came. Before I knew it, I was waking up to seeing my side of my sister and I's shared bedroom completely void of the very things that made it my side. I packed my insulin and diabetic gear up after eating breakfast, the whole time mentally preparing myself for what was coming.

And just like that, I became a college student. The rest of my Saturday afternoon was spent bonding with the girls on my floor and unpacking 10 years of memories from four big Rubbermaid bins and three duffel bags.

It is now Sunday, August 30th, and I have been here at Gordon College for 3 weeks and a day. I have settled in and established a routine. I know everyone's names and who from my floor will get breakfast, lunch, and dinner with me. I know that the cute, little woman who serves me breakfast most mornings is named Terry and she thinks it is so cool that I am from Senegal, West Africa.

What did I just say? Oh... I didn't tell you? Right, I didn't. I'll tell you now!

My name is Grace Columbine and I am a missionary kid who has come to America for college after spending the last 10 years of her life in Dakar, Senegal. Of course, as most missionaries do, I have taken a few furloughs during the course of those 10 years. And of course, as most missionary kids do, I dreaded every single one of those furloughs and I don't really remember much of what took place during those years.

What I do remember is every year that I spent letting Dakar slowly melt into me, and me melting into it, to the point where the two becoming one is almost non-distinguishable.

It wasn't something I was aware of. It was subliminal. Every little thing about the country I now call home was affecting my mind and I was completely unaware of it until I was without those little things.

How does one deal with that sensation? How should one be expected to cope with that kind of agony, with the realization that all the places, smells, things, people, and culture(s) that shaped you are now gone?

The answer? I really don't know. The only piece of advice I can give is to keep letting go and letting God. Live your life out just one day at a time. Cherish the here and now, instead of yearning to be at one with the past again because we all know that's not how life works.

Don't get me wrong here. I am beyond grateful for all of the places, smells, things, people, and culture(s) that God used to shape me into the young woman I am today. I am so so grateful for all of those things! But I've come to the realization that my moving on to life as a college student in America is nothing to be guilty about.

Why? Because that is exactly what God has called me to do in this season of my life.


My prayer for you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, is that you will learn to find home in the season of life that God has called you to be in, no matter how much you may miss the things that once were. That's my prayer for myself too. Transition is not easy, but with the right mindset and good people surrounding us, we can do it, and we can choose to give God all the glory for it!