I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and saw a post asking TCKs what music helped them cope with the challenges of TCK life. As I read the comments, one title caught my eye. The song was about having no roots.
Although I didn’t like the artist’s style of music, her words intrigued me. As a TCK, she moved around constantly, and in the song, she referred to herself as a gipsy travelling at night. Consequently, she didn’t have any roots.
Lack of Roots
For all TCKs, however you explain it, the feeling is the same. We don’t belong anywhere, we don’t know where home is, and we don’t have deep roots that bind us to a particular place.
I have been reading through Colossians in my quiet time, and one passage made me think about this topic.
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6–7 KJV
For those who’re saved, we’re supposed to live in His footsteps. How do we do that? By being rooted and built up in Him.
Rooted. To most people, it means getting all the popular culture references, knowing the slang, and knowing everyone in your neighbourhood. More than that though, it means feeling at home when you walk into a place. It means having deep ties with a town. It means feeling distinctly one way. It means feeling patriotic. It means having one language, one culture, and one place embedded into the wiring of your brain and the emotion of your heart.
Roots are the “feeders” of the plant. They soak up and store water and nutrients so that the plant can grow strong and large. If you are rooted in a particular country, this is where you have gotten a big part of the information and teaching and experience that feeds you and grows you up into the person you have become.
TCKs aren’t very rooted. Not in one place at least. This will differentiate from person to person, depending on how much they moved around when they were young. However, I think we all can agree that we lack the geographical roots of our brothers and sisters who have lived in one place their whole lives.
I, for example, have moved eight times, once internationally, and have been to six schools throughout my life. My life-long memories are not of houses and schools. They are of family, and sometimes, the city I grew up in. However, I can never say that I completely belong in that city either because I am not a local. Even if I have some roots in that city, they are not to be compared to the deep roots my local friends have.
The Only Deep Root
But here’s the cool thing: Paul and Timothy are saying we should be rooted in Christ. Not in an area or a culture. Not that being rooted in those things is bad, but it’s not foremost. What is bad is being rooted in sin, the world, and flesh.
Above all, Jesus Christ should be our source from which we draw our spiritual nutrients and food that help us grow in our walk with Him. The deeper we have roots in Jesus and His Word, the stronger we will be when faced with life’s challenges; we will be built up in Him. We can be like a tree with deep roots, so when a storm of change, lies, guilt, or difficulty comes, we will not fall. We’ll be a tree that brings fruit and doesn’t wither (Ps. 1:3).
Jesus is where we need to be rooted. Fellow TCKs, do not mourn your lack of roots in a country. Learn to be rooted in the One Place that matters.
This is my prayer for you:
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:14–19 KJV (emphasis added)