March Malaise

When I was a child, March was one of my favorite months. After all, there was my birthday and, more often than not, spring break. Cake and days out of school were always cause for celebration! As I've gotten older, March has lost its sparkle. After saying goodbye to Mama on my birthday two years ago, I know the month will never be the same.

As difficult as the past two Marches have been, I expected this year to be different. I thought my melancholy would subside, but it's been firmly clutching my soul. It's not just that I miss Mama so much. It's not the other major events that have marked our lives these past 4 years: my husband's job loss and return to school, and leaving our church of 18 years to find another. I used to think that I was in some sort of extended grieving period, so accustomed to mourning that I knew no other way to live. But I'm beginning to understand that, while all of these events have caused major upheaval in my life, they are not the source of my malaise.

I'm not gloomy, depressed, or sad. In fact, malaise is the perfect word to describe this lingering feeling. The Oxford English Reference Dictionary defines malaise as "a nonspecific bodily discomfort not associated with the development of a disease; a feeling of uneasiness."  I am uneasy, out of sorts. To the human eye it may appear to be the result of much turmoil these past years, yet I know this is not the case.

For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:14) This is not my home. I should feel uneasy here. As a believer in Christ, with the Holy Spirit residing in me, I can't help but feel any other way. It's when I seek comfort and satisfaction in the world - when I find my identity here - that I lose that feeling of uneasiness and start to feel that I fit in. Yet I, like every believer, am called to stand out.

The truth is, the closer I walk with God, the more disconnected I will feel from this world.  That doesn't mean there aren't good things here. I have a wonderful family and friends, a good job, a lovely home, and much more. I have been blessed beyond measure. Yet even the best of these cannot compare to the glories I will behold in Heaven.

As my birthday approaches, I will thank the Lord for another year and praise Him for the gifts He's given me. I will gather with friends and eat cake. I will enjoy every minute of it. But a small part of me will be longing for Home.

That's as it should be.


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