Have you ever felt homesick? How old were you? Where were you visiting or living? What did you miss about home? Encourage all group members to share.
- Why does the Christian experience homesickness here on earth? How does that manifest itself?
- How might homesickness be valuable? What does it remind us of?
- What if we're not experiencing homesickness? Why might that be? What could we do to stir it up in our hearts?
- What's going on in your life right now that reminds you you're not home yet? Have each group member share something, either something personal or something they've witnessed.
- What might tempt us to make this place our home? What would it look like to put down roots here in an unhealthy way?
Read Hebrews 11:1-16.
If your name were in this list, what would it say you did "by faith"? What about the way you're living your life shows that you're seeking a homeland?
In the last chapter of the last book of the Bible the apostle John prays, "Come, Lord Jesus." It's a prayer for the homesick.
Identify reasons you want Jesus to come back. Tell Jesus those reasons in prayer. After each reason say together as a group, "Come, Lord Jesus."
FOR FUN AND KNOWLEDGE
According to Everydayhealth.com, here's a list of ways for college freshman to deal with homesickness:
- Realize homesickness is a normal feeling.
- Allow time to get used to your new home environment.
- Talk about your feelings with friends, family, a resident assistant, or counselor.
- Post pictures and things from home in your room.
- Make plans to visit home, keeping in mind that you will be returning to school.
- Get involved in campus activities.
- Don't ignore your feelings or try to drown them by drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or participating in any type of risky behavior.
- Learn what helps you relax — it might be deep breathing exercises, music, or exercise.
- Be realistic when it comes to your expectations about college. Remember that you must relax and play a bit in addition to studying, or you'll burn out. Structure your time and work toward finding a healthy balance.
Are any of these suggestions helpful for the Christian dealing with homesickness? Are any of them unhelpful or even destructive?