Today we have Acacia with us! Welcome, Acacia!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the different cultures you are part of?
Hello friend! I’m Acacia. I grew up on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, and moved to Scotland at the age of twelve. We’ve moved a few times within Scotland as well. My family works as missionaries, visiting churches, loving people, and daily asking Jesus to make us more like Him.
I’m currently a health student at college – the basics of nursing and psychology prep. Somewhere along the way, I also started working as a freelance writer and self-published a collection of poetry which went on to be the #2 religious poetry release on Amazon.
Scottish culture varies wildly throughout the country – the Scottish highlands are gentle, reserved, hospitable. High mountains overshadow old stone houses brimming with cups of tea and scones. Life goes slowly and tradition is so deep-seated that to remove it would be to remove the culture.
Further south, the Glaswegians (people from Glasgow) are loud, friendly, full of swearing and stories and life. They too are reserved, in their own way, unsure of welcoming one who is not from their clan. I suppose we all are, in some way.
What is an advantage of being a TCK?
The travelling. The connections. The experiences. While connecting with people from Scotland has sometimes been a challenge, I have found incredibly deep connections with people who live here but come from somewhere else. Being a TCK has also put me in a position to travel more than I would have been able to otherwise – both because of moving and because I’ve met more people from different places, and so I have more places to travel to!
What is the hardest thing about being a TCK?
I’m an Enneagram two – motivated by wanting to be loved/accepted by those around me. Being a TCK is both a blessing and a curse in that respect. Cultural differences make it difficult to feel like I belong – people have wildly different senses of humour, different interests, different requirements for friendship.
But for me, the hardest thing has been letting go of the place I called home.
I have this picture-perfect idea of what Canada is. Going back to visit can be painful. People have grown up and experienced loss and love and laughter and you are on the outskirts – an oddity. It is a feeling that hollows my insides – returning to the place that I thought of as home and finding that it no longer fits like a familiar jacket. I am new here now.
What is one thing you learned from being a TCK?
I needed to work through my feelings of anger towards God and to accept His plan and Lordship over my life – not forgiveness, because God is an infinite, infallible being who cannot do wrong – but working through those emotions in a way that did not stifle them and yet honoured God. I had to forgive myself for choosing to live in bitterness.
I’ve had to forgive many people along the way who have not understood the struggles of moving, or family members (on the daily – I forgiving them and them forgiving me), or leaders who have not been kind.
And with each challenge to forgive, I am reminded how great God’s forgiveness is for me. I am not very good at forgiving. God is perfect in His grace.
How has being a TCK influenced your faith?
Being a TCK has pushed me closer to God than I could have imagined. At times, in the moving and the whirlwind of new faces, it has felt like God is the only being who truly knows me. The only one who wants to know me. Over time, my relationship with God has grown from need to desire. I do not know all of the “whys”; why now, why here, why me, why so painful … but I do know that God has beautiful plans that I get to be a part of, and I want to be a part of them with all of my heart.
What is one thing you would like to tell your fellow TCKs?
Seek the adventure, thank the Father.
I find it so easy to feel pity for myself. “I’m lonely, I’m missing out on home, I don’t belong, I’m moving again, I, I, I …”
Pete Grieg, the founder of the 24/7 prayer movement, talks about how much easier it is to be thankful for things when you look for God in the small things. “We all want to be an older person who thanks God for parking spaces.”
And I do. I want to thank God for parking spaces and moving and small moments of laughter while unpacking and tears while re-packing and new places to watch the sunset.
Being a TCK is extremely painful at times. Like tearing velcro apart – it is fast and violent and disconnecting. But it is also so fulfilling if I choose to see it that way. So, I’m choosing to seek the adventure and to thank God for it.