When Going Home Hurts

Last summer, I lived in a different city for an internship. On a short weekend home, when I didn’t have anything to do and my friends seemed to be busy, I was scrolling through various social media accounts.

I came across a video of my friends hanging out at a pool. The video was no doubt posted shortly before I saw it.

I felt sick.

It’s likely they saw each other multiple times a week throughout the summer. But there I was, home for a few short days, and they didn’t invite me to spend time with them.

I wanted to assume they didn’t know I was back, but I had asked one of them to hang out prior to coming home.

I can’t say I handled the situation well. It hurt and still does, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it and move on.

For some students, coming home doesn’t mean facing friend problems, it means facing issues within the family.

Here are a few things we can actively do when this kind of thing happens.

Pray

I learned in my Bible study recently that situations like mine are not by accident. Satan is trying to keep us from living an abundant life by making us feel worthless and unwanted. He likes to target our weak areas—he knows this is one for me.

No matter what’s happening, God is safe to talk to. He wants us to tell Him how we feel, even if we’re angry and yelling at Him. We can ask Him for help. Many times, we need to go to Him first to calm down and assess the situation.

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. —James 1:19

I’m usually the first to get mad and say damaging words in times like these. Trust me, it’s not worth it. Sometimes we just need to hear the other person’s side of the story, but to do that we must listen.

Even if the other person isn’t talking, it may be best to stay silent until you’re calm enough to handle the situation peacefully.

Choose joy

Sometimes we can’t make the problem or the pain go away, but we can choose joy. It’s way easier said than done, but no one else is in control of us. We must choose to enjoy our time at home, at least to the best of our ability. Joy is your choice, not theirs.

James 1:2-4

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

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