I’ve been tired, awkward and lost. This is my one stronghold.

Floundering is defined as: “to experience great difficulties or be completely unable to decide what to do or say next; to move awkwardly or to be in an awkward or difficult situation (Cambridge Dictionary).” 

Joy Clarkson (she talks on all things art and theology) used that term to describe what we do when we’re in the waiting spaces: We don’t just wait. We struggle to hold on to anything that will give us direction or hope. 

I’ve been floundering. Trying to hold onto something that will give me footing. I feel confused, tired, and unmotivated.

In this season where I am losing the ground, I stand on, I’m realizing I need to grow roots deeper down than where I have been. I have been rooted in this country, in my family, in my grades, and in my accomplishments. 

Yet I’m called to be rooted in Christ. 

So whenever that rejection email comes, and the feelings of “I knew it wasn’t going to happen anyway” and “you’re not that special” wash over me, and I deny the feelings of excitement and ambition I had, I have the opportunity to ask the Lord to not let this make me cold and hard inside. 

Father, please, root me in You, in your word, in your truth. Help me to stand firmly on you, for you are my Rock and my Refuge. You are my firm Foundation. 

My experiences in Turkey have been a blessing, but ultimately that’s not who I am. 

My connection to America looms ahead of me, enveloping me, and it’s scary. It doesn’t have to be. Because that’s not who I am either. 

I’ve received letters of admission and rejection from universities and programs. These labels do not define me – they cannot. 

I cannot be defined by a number on a page, a statistic pointing to some idea of academic effort or capability. 

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, Father, and I know them very well (Psalm 139). 

The only thing I can bet on in life is that God will be my unshakable Cornerstone, my Good Shepherd, my Vine, my Good Good Father. He’s gone before me in the past; He is doing so now. He is the Maker of the universe, the one who spoke and created billions of swirling stars, and formed man from dust. His breath holds Life; his hands uphold all of history. His sacrifice on the cross bearing divine wrath in my place assures me of eternal peace with Him. 

My circumstances will change. I will change. 

He hasn’t, isn’t, and won’t. 

That’s one heck of a thing to stand on.

TCK Higlight: Karissa Chmil (Storylight Blog Tour)

Dear friends, where to begin? It’s been several months since my last posts. I’ve been applying to universities like crazy, and doing senior year, and trying to work on Truth4TCKs 2022 (more info on that soon!). Although I don’t have a new post for you today – I will soon – I have a lovely interview with TCK and writer Karissa Chmil for you. Enjoy.


What’s your story? (Not where are you from, because that’s an annoying question.)
Well, where to begin?
My name is Karissa Chmil, a young nomad on a quest to let the banner of Soli deo Gloria fly across the world one story at a time.
I was born in the United States, and by the age of seven I had picked up a few nomadic qualities—traveling six hundred miles every three weeks will do that to you. A little under three years later, I moved to the French alps, spent a few wonderful years there, and currently live in Western Africa.
Things haven’t always been easy—in the past five years I’ve said countless goodbyes, had siblings spend weeks in the hospital, have lost friends back in America to suicide, and more. But I don’t think I would change any of it—because, by the grace of God that I’m named after, all this fire has only served to bring out the gold.


What brings you joy?
Little moments—laughing with siblings over the most random of things, teasing my friends, walks in the twilight, singing when I’m alone in the house, hearing the little girls I take care of finally learn to say my name, the quiet at prayer meeting as we all cry out to the Lord and let His peace wash over us, long talks with my mom, watching candles flicker at night, teaching my friends simple words in English, slipping into stories, endless email threads with my best friend. . . As a friend’s mom says, “happiness is a feeling; joy is a choice.”
And I will choose, every day of my life, to find joy in the tiny, hidden moments.


What are your favorite latest reads?
I’ve just finished the Wingfeather Saga, which was definitely worth the read. Because of Mr. Terupt is also one I finished (re)reading recently, and I’d highly recommend it. On the nonfiction side, I’ve just begun a book called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, and, so far, it’s proved fascinating.


How does your multi-cultural worldview affect your reading life?
I would say that my multi-cultural worldview makes every book I read deeper, because I can see it from so many different angles. French culture, American culture, honor-shame culture—all of it makes me see the characters and their decisions in a much more significant light.


Tell us about your blog!
Storylight is a blog that focuses around the tagline Remember the stories, which champions the idea that, when you’re hurting or confused or you’ve messed up at something, you can go back to the stories you’ve read, to the character’s you’ve grown with, and let them teach you and heal you.
It features flash fiction, bookish articles (such as Is Reading a Waste of Time?), book reviews, book recommendations, and soon-to-be author interviews—in short, it’s a hopeful, purposeful, bookish atmosphere, and I’d love to see you over there!


There you have it, dear friends! I’m planning on getting back to posting regularly after this long hiatus, and thanks for being patient with me. I hope you go and check Karissa’s new blog out!

TCKs For Christ Launches Today

Over a year ago, I met a beautiful young woman named Clarissa Choo. She, like me, had grown up in several countries. She, like me, had parents who were business people. And she, much more than me, loved Jesus. 

She had started a “TCK Letters” ministry… sending out newsletters to third culture kids to encourage them in their walk with God. On the other hand, I was just starting to write and blog more for and about third-culture kids. It was a perfect comradery. We began to write weekly and dream and plan. I remember when we started a TCK group chat and discussed what other ministries would be possible. 

Out of the small community we created grew Truth4TCKs, my organization that offers conferences and seminars for Jesus-following TCKs. 

However, that wasn’t the only ministry that grew out of our community. I want to share with you my dear friends’ project, TCKs For Christ. Their website launched today!


TCKs for Christ is a website ministry that strives to serve, encourage, and challenge teenage Christian third culture kids and young adult TCKs. These include business kids, cross-cultural kids, mixed-cultural kids, diplomat kids, etc. 

Does TCKs for Christ have an Email List?

Yes, they do! Upon signing up, you will receive exclusive content of one TCK letter and one newsletter per month in your inbox.

The TCK Letters convey heartfelt experiences through words, in which a few of our writers talk about the struggles and triumphs of their TCK life.

The Monthly Newsletter is a fun, convenient summary of new articles and interviews published on our website for the month.

Interested? Hit subscribe.

An Excerpt from a TCKs for Christ article:

The Identity of Home by Elisha McFarland.

Have you ever struggled with the idea of “home”? I know I have. As TCKs, we often battle this relentless onslaught of insecurity about our legitimate home. Throughout my entire life, the only insecurity I battled was found within a question:

Where is home? Do I have several, or none at all? What qualifies as a home? …

Questioning Home is a Difficult Insecurity

It bites deep, leaving us vulnerable and depressed. To make matters worse, this malady is not physical; it cannot be cured by drugs or remedies. This malady is of the spirit, and so we must turn to the One who created our spirit.

This answer was first given to me at TCK Camp Uganda 2016. The time spent in this camp was world-rocking. Sermons were preached, hearts were changed … and homes were found. …

Read more of this article in TCKs for Christ.

Where Can I Connect with Them?

Their social media handle is @TCKsforChrist. Connect with them through FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest.


Please, friends, go check their website out and subscribe to their newsletter. You won’t regret it. Their team is made up of unique, diverse, and Jesus-loving people. I’m so proud of them. 

3 Ways God’s Incredible Faithfulness Touches Us

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been meditating on a particular aspect of God’s character – His faithfulness.

That sounds like I initiated it. I didn’t.

About three weeks ago, I read a devotional in the beautiful book Becoming and Beholding by Ruth Chou Simons. (She’s incredible, by the way.) It showed how the rhythms of our mundane, everyday lives actually push us to see God’s sovereignty. The rising and setting of the sun mark our days faithfully, every day, every year. God displays his constancy in the very structure of our lives. The sunset not only radiates God’s beauty and grace but also reminds every living being that today has ended like it started. God is faithful to keep the earth spinning.

He is faithful in the mundane, and he promises to be faithful in the details. We are much more than the sparrows flying across the pink-burnt sky. We are loved so much more.

I meditated on Micah Tyler’s song “New Today.”

Help me rise like the morning sun

Help me see that Your work is not done

When I’m less than what I want to be

Lord, I need You to keep reminding me

That Your mercies are new today

Your mercies are new today

I can rest on Your shoulders

There is grace to start over

Your mercies are new today

This song became my anthem in the next two weeks. How could I finish the task set before me? How could I take that next step? How could I climb this mountain?

The answer was, indeed, his faithfulness. His faithfulness would keep me going.

God’s faithfulness is much more than a fact. It’s a truth that acts – and changes people.

Here are three ways God’s faithfulness applies to people:

God’s Faithfulness is Comforting

When we believe entirely in God’s sovereignty, his eternal reality, and his promise-keeping, we’re able to lay down our burdens. We don’t have to strive to get results. We work hard and leave the fruit up to him. We no longer need to stress over the future and drown in our anxiety because we know we’ll wake each morning to a sky painted by his hand. He’ll lead us gently through the pastures and the valleys of deathly shadows, all of our lives.

Each time we tread through a new dark valley, we can remember His past faithfulness to us. We can trust His word: He will never leave us nor forsake us.

God’s Faithfulness is Humbling

Every attribute of God, when contrasted to yourself, is unattainable and expansive. God is so incredibly faithful that he doesn’t stop holding the universe together, even for one second. He is devoted to the promises he’s kept despite mankind’s constant obstinance. He is God – no matter what.

We are fickle. We change – and I am a prime example of this. I may very well be the queen of mood swings. I’ll be laughing one minute and crying fifteen minutes later.

When our fickle nature is faced with his overwhelming, gracious faithfulness, we’re reminded that we can’t do it. Any consistency and commitment in our lives is his work in us.

When we feel discouraged and stuck, we remember that God is transforming us to the image of Christ, no matter how hard it is to see sometimes. He is faithful – and He transforms us.

God’s Faithfulness is Freeing

God is the one who promised:

‘And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ‘Philippians 1:6

God is faithful, so we will be sanctified. We will be brought into glory. It’s his work. Period.

We can then choose to live well and love others. We work strenuously and run the race. We reach towards the prize – but we haven’t won it. Jesus purchased eternal life for us through his sacrifice on the cross. His faithfulness to redeem us and His commitment to sanctify and glorify us give us the freedom to live without shame or fear.

God keeps His promises. He will bring His work in us to completion, so we don’t have to fret. We can live fully with everything we have.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

God’s faithfulness is a guiding, reassuring force in our daily steps. As we remind ourselves of the truths mentioned, we can live each moment confidently. We can sing, full-heartedly, breathing at ease:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father

There is no shadow of turning with Thee

Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not

As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

Great is Thy faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness

Morning by morning, new mercies I see

All I have needed Thy hand hath provided

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

13 Reminders for the TCK’s “Trip Home”

I’m flying to the USA soon. By the time this gets published, I’ll probably be there already. We’re going back to visit friends and family, and I’m tremendously excited. 

But to be frank, going back to my passport country is nerve-wracking. Every single time. 

My passport says I’m American, but I don’t feel like it when I take a step off the plane. Not at all. 

For one thing, everyone is speaking English. Like, what on earth? Since when does everyone speak English?

Then they say “Welcome Home” at the gate. The thing is, I feel like a fish out of water. Because these people sound like me, they are presumably just like me, and they expect the same from me. You feel like a fraud for the first two hours. You feel like you’re holding some sort of secret identity on the inside. 

Because this continent-hopping maneuver stresses me out, I thought it’d be kind of helpful to put together a list of things to remember before you take the leap. You know, from one TCK to another. 

But then I had a brilliant idea. 

I asked my other TCK friends. 

Behold our magnificent list of 13 things to remember when you “go home” for the summer. 

  1.  Visits to your passport country can often be hectic. Make sure you create time to ground yourself in God’s word. It will change your interactions and experience entirely. 
  2. Strangers will come up to you, call you by name, and claim they’ve known you ever since you were little. Be prepared to update them on your family. Talk with them – do it with a smile.
  3. Remember that not every foreign language you hear is your country’s language 😉
  4. Sometimes it’s good to bring a couple of gifts for the friends you might meet. You never know when you might meet your new close friend.
  5. Be prepared for: “Say something in so-and-so language.” Some people prefer asking for a sentence to translate, whereas some people come prepared with a phrase. Do what works for you.
  6. Many people will say, “Welcome Home.” If it doesn’t feel like home for you, that’s ok – you’re not alone. Personally, it always feels a bit like a vacation. You can mention it or not – but however you react, be kind.
  7. Be gracious. You’re not better than people just because you know more about the world internationally. They know more than you about other things. Reach out – make a friend. 
  8. Be grateful when someone goes out of their way (and their comfort zone!) to show you around and be friendly. Make sure you thank them.
  9. Be curious and ask questions. Don’t feel stupid if you don’t understand something. Chances are, it might not even be a cultural thing – they might not get it either. If it is cultural – brush it off. You are prized by the King of Heaven, and you don’t need to feel insecure. 
  10. Don’t be so excited about the “commodities” that you forget about the people. 
  11. Remember, the trips to your passport country shouldn’t define your expectations of the country’s culture. These short trips don’t show you the true face of the country. Stay curious and open to learning. Don’t assume you know everything.
  12. Spend quality time with people and say good goodbyes. 
  13. Take that first step to say hello. I know what you’re thinking – because I’m thinking it too. I don’t know these people. They don’t understand me. If I say something, I’m going to mess up. 

Take that risk. Life’s most beautiful moments are found when we step outside of our comfort zones. What we often forget is that we TCKs are comfortable traveling the world and speaking foreign languages. Honestly, I’d rather talk to the immigrant elderly couple at church than the teens my age. And that’s good.

But my friend, we can’t live our lives like this. We pride ourselves on having a broad perspective and traveling the world, but sometimes we forget that people are people no matter where you go and that your home culture is just another culture waiting to be discovered. Sometimes we forget that although the Church is Christ’s international body, our home country’s church is a part of it. Sometimes we forget that the teen we are afraid of talking to is just as freaking scared to speak to us. 

So take that awkward first step. 

“There is freedom waiting for you,

On the breezes of the sky,

And you ask, “What if I fall?”

Oh, but my darling,

What if you fly?”

― Erin Hanson

Rest Triumphantly

“Do the next thing.”

It’s something I’ve heard my whole life. It’s a wise thought… that we need to keep on going, just looking at the task in front of us, taking the next step. It’s accurate and encouraging. 

But when the things I hoped in disappear, and plans fail, and relationships wane, and even the most constant parts of my life seem to step out of the scene… taking the next step is the last thing I want to do. 

I texted a loved one recently: 

“I’m just so tired of doing the next thing.”

It’s true. I’m so tired. I’m so weary of working my backside off and COVID and not seeing people and online classes.

And no one would blame me if I crawled into my bed and slept for days or binged TV or spent hours doing nothing. After all, as every single person in this world is saying, it’s been a year.

But we aren’t called to that.

As children of God, we are called to triumphant rest. 

We rest in the utmost ability of God to work all things for our good. We trust in His faithfulness. We rest because we know this daily battle has already been won. We are warriors on the winning side, and although the fight is furious, we don’t have to fear.

Jesus Christ holds all things together. (Colossians 1) 

He’s the head of the church, and he’s the Creator of all. He holds every star and ant and galaxy and whale in his power. Nothing comes together or apart without his consent. ‘For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.’ (Colossians 1:16). He’s holding your life together, your heart together, your broken pieces together. 

He’s holding you and every part of this beautiful, war-torn world together. 

And he’s going to make it all new.  

‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” ‘

Revelation 21:1,3,5

If he’s making it new, we know he’s making us new too, and he’ll finish his work when the earth passes away. We can take the next step because we’re being renewed. He gives us hope as he grows us. 

So we rest triumphantly in the glory of what is to come and the truth of what is today. And we do the next thing, not because it’s easy or because we have the strength. We take the next step because Jesus is holding up the ground beneath our feet. He’s holding the air that we breathe. Jesus is holding it all together. 

Thank You to God & Friends: You’ve Helped Me Grow

When I started writing last summer, I had no idea what God had in store for me. I became a Rebelutionary, a writer, and a champion of my fellow Christian teens who’ve grown up among worlds. I’ve grown in ways that were unimaginable to me at the time.

One way God has grown me is in my passion for using my youth to the fullest. I want to do hard things while I am young. I don’t want to give in to society’s flow of doing absolutely nothing worthwhile during my youth. I want to use it entirely for the glory of God. That’s not to say I still don’t have endless bad days where I’m lazy and selfish. I do. But He’s stretching me and leading me, and for that, I am grateful. I’m also so thankful for the Rebelution team and Brett Harris, who God has used mightily in so many people’s lives.

He’s also grown me in capability. I’m learning to be more proactive and more of a leader. I’m learning to make decisions. I’m learning more about the kind of leader I am and where I need to grow even more.

He’s grown me in passion for my fellow teens who’ve grown up abroad. There is so much that I’ve learned and wish my fellow teens would know as well. I’ve moved from simply a peer to someone who wants to see her peers changed for the better, passionate about the glory of God and about the good they can do as citizens of heaven.

One of the tangible processes he used to grow me was the Truth4TCKs 2021 conference. He taught me to trust in Him, to trust in His work, but also the work of others. He taught me to show up, day after day, even when it was hard. He taught me to model his faithfulness. I never succeeded – none of us can. But in my failure, I was reminded of His faithfulness and sovereignty, and I leaned on Him.

God also gave me great relationships through this journey – and I’m so thankful.

I’m thankful to my sweet friend Sara, who mentored me through the organization process and motivated me to make this whole thing happen. If she could do it, so could I. Thank you, Sara, for being encouraging and just someone I can cry with and laugh with. You are a joy.

I’m also thankful to my team: Clarissa, Bethany, Minjin, Kristianne, and Sophia. They have been why I was even able to put the conference together. They each contributed in their own ways, and looking back, it was beautiful to behold.

I’m so grateful for Megan, who became an encourager and friend, as well as someone who graciously helped me enter the “TCK world” of sorts. You, Megan, have been such a blessing, and you had a massive role in this.

I’m thankful to all the speakers who took their time and effort to help out. This was voluntary. I didn’t promise anyone money. Yet everyone served abundantly, and it was beautiful. Thank you, Will, Megan, Chris, Ms. Kate, Ms. C.B., Melinda, Ify, Wendy & Luke, and Sam. You were amazing.

I’m amazed at the blessing that God has given me. My family. They are so loving, so encouraging. Dad, you are the one who motivates me, gives me perspective, and helps grow my vision for what could be. Mom, you are my friend and joy, and you keep me accountable. Thank you to my brothers as well, who have been so encouraging and supportive throughout this whole thing.

I’ve grown, but I still am growing. We all are. That’s life.

Lord, thank you for growing me. Please lead me in my next steps. Thank you for being so faithful to me.

Don’t Miss the Truth4TCKs Conference

“Mom, when we get back home, I’m gonna kiss the ground.”

Those were my words as an eight or nine year old, when we were leaving the US to go back overseas. My mother was delighted when I did not do that, but she understood quite clearly in that moment that I loved our new home, and that it belonged to me. I wasn’t going to end up American… at least not completely. 

Fast forward nine years, and I’m still in love with the metropolis I live in. My life has been a blessing, and I wouldn’t ever trade it off. 

The struggle I have with my “home” is that I’m still a stranger to its people. I will never be, completely, a local. I sound like a local, and some even say I look like one. But the fact remains that I’m the “American”. I’m the one who moved here. 

It’s hard sometimes. The life of a Third Culture Kid is a patchwork quilt, a tree with roots that span continents, a network of bridges. The quilt’s squares are added, but sometimes ripped off. The tree’s roots are deep in some soils and wide and shallow in others. The bridges burn and are built again.

Yet the complexity that we call life is ultimately beautiful and good.

Sometimes, the complex stories and losses and experiences feel like too much. We need people to come alongside us and tell us we aren’t the only ones. We are understood. We are seen and loved. 

That’s just one of the many reasons why I started Truth4TCKs. It’s an online conference for teenage and young adult Christian Third Culture Kids, whether Military Brats, Expat Kids, Business Kids, MKs, Diplomat Kids, etc. It’s happening in four days on the 22nd and 23rd of May 2021.

Truth4TCKs strives to bring biblical truth and encouragement regarding the cross-cultural and highly mobile life to TCKs – especially those that might not have easy access to it. 

I am so excited! This is for all types of TCKs. Our excellent speakers come from many backgrounds: military, business, diplomatic, ministry… Also, the conference is organized by teens and young adults, who have a passion to do hard things while they’re young and to serve their TCK peers. That’s pretty cool.

The 2021 Theme is Global Citizens of Heaven. Here’s what that means: TCKs often feel an identity crisis and a lack of a home. However, as Christians, we are given an unchanging identity in Christ and a home in Heaven. Once the TCK is grounded in their identity, they can go out to live their lives as global citizens, using their giftings to the glory of God and the good of others. 

You can find out more about Truth4TCKs on Instagram @truth4tcks, and at truth4tcks.org . You can register on the link on the website for $10 or for $17 (if you want the recordings of the sessions.)

Speakers include names like Kate Forbes (the Cabinet Secretary of Finance in Scotland), Megan Norton (Intercultural Trainer), Chris O’Shaughnessy (Author and Comedian), and more. We will also have a special message from Ruth Van Reken (the author of Third Culture Kids, she’s also known as the matriarch of TCKs).

This conference is totally worth it. It’s not on Zoom, but rather Airmeet, an interactive platform that offers a fresh experience for online events. So if you’re Zoom-weary, no worries. 

I have been working, along with my wonderful team, on this for the last five months. We’re so glad it’s almost here. We hope to see you there. 

Leave Your Side of the Diamond

The delicious pasta with melting cheese and bolognese sauce. The vanilla bean gelato with balsamic vinegar*. The cobblestone streets and squares. The weathered stone walls and arched windows, and low spires. Bologna, Italy.

Something is wondrous about travel. It reminds you of all the possibilities, all the diversity, all the beauty in this world. The wonder-awoken soul breathes in the past and future. There is a remarkable, multi-faceted, light-breaking, colorful prism of a vision God has for his people. One only begins to understand it once he leaves his side of the diamond. God didn’t just create a continent or a country; he created a world. His glory is seen through creation, and aren’t peoples and cultures a part of that?

Travel isn’t the only way to discover all these things, of course, but it’s a powerful way to remind us that there is so much outside of us and our comfort zones. The outside things aren’t to be feared but explored with awe like a toddler would explore a field of grass and flowers in the spring.

The more you are filled with awe and wonder, the more you change.

But I think there is also a conscious initiative you have to take when you visit a city or country. You need to be aware that if you visit a tourist attraction area, what you see isn’t the whole story. And if you are there for a longer time, it’s always a good idea to try to immerse yourself in a culture and learn as much as you can. It’s easy to stay in your comfort bubble, even in another country. There are often resorts and hotels that keep you safe and within boundaries.

Boundaries are acceptable – what’s important is being aware of them. Travel humbly. Seek to learn and grow and stretch and become more aware of the world God has created.

Hush, and listen to the lively chatter. Savor the satisfying sweetness of fresh fruit. Pay attention to every texture and touch and the way the wind twirls. See, look, fix your eyes on the details and patterns and colors and shadows… the patchwork and paintings of our God that are ever-moving. Breath in the spice, the nectar, the earthy rain-soaked air, and breath out a deep, reverent, slow sigh.

Friend, the world is too full of God’s glory to sit back and stay put.


*As gross as it sounds, the vanilla bean gelato with balsamic vinegar was absolutely amazing. Italians just know how to make good food. Here’s an example recipe for those foodie dare-devils who want to try it out.

https://todayscreativelife.com/sweet-balsamic-reduction-with-vanilla-ice-cream/


I haven’t been writing frequently, but that’s because I have been heading up the organization of the Truth4TCKs conference. It’s an online conference for Christian Third Culture Kids, specifically teens and young adults. We’re going live May 22nd and 23rd – check out truth4tcks.org for more.

I won’t be writing much until after that happens. Thanks for bearing with me friends! May the Lord fill you with wonder and grace.

Every Story is Part of His Plan: Interview with Adult TCK Liz Lovelace (part 4)

Breanne: Okay, next question. What biblical truths or wisdom were you able to cling to, which helped you make that transition – realizing you were different and that was okay?

Liz: Umm… I think I would have to say God’s sovereignty. I understood God’s sovereignty in my life and other’s lives. That helped me accept that God had this plan for me to grow up this way. Accepting that it was good for me. God’s plan for other people was to go to college with people who were born in Wisconsin, grew up in Wisconsin, and never left Wisconsin. You know? I’m sure you run into people like that who have always lived in the same place and have ever moved. Their view of the world is very different than your own. I think understanding that God has a plan for all of us and our formative years, whatever that may be, they shape you as a person, and that’s all part of God’s plan too. I think now, there are still things that I’m learning even now at 42.

Even now, sometimes I’m like, “Why do people think this way? Why are they being so narrow-minded.” But, I think it’s even just a daily thing of realizing, “Just because I think differently doesn’t mean it’s wrong.” Trying to be more open-minded. Especially in today’s climate with politics and the coronavirus, everyone is struggling to find their place in the world and figure things out. I’d say it’s a blessing that we were living in Mexico, and we could just up and move and come back to the USA. We had the freedom to do that. But it’s been interesting even now, having experienced the coronavirus in two different countries. That’s been interesting too. I can see the valid reactions all over the world. Some countries are shutting down, some aren’t. I don’t know if it’s the TCK experience, but I can look at all these different reactions and say, “You know, they’re doing the best they can.” That’s okay.

Breanne: Yeah.

Liz: To see other people’s reactions, here in the USA specifically, people are all up in arms, and so mad about their freedoms being trampled on and places closing, and they don’t like being told to wear a mask, and they don’t like being told they can’t go out to eat anymore. You know, while I understand that point of view, I get why they think that way, I can’t relate, and I don’t share that point of view.

Breanne: I think that’s kind of a common… I relate to that. Thinking about any situation, “I understand because I understand the clockwork of the culture, but I don’t think it’s the most reasonable reaction or the most beneficial… I can’t relate.” Something like that.

I just realized I have one last question. You are raising TCKs. How has being a TCK and an Adult TCK affected the way you parent TCKs? Approaching things differently than monocultural parents parenting TCKs?

Liz: Umm… Parenting is parenting. My husband wasn’t raised as a TCK, but he can relate very well to TCKs. I think we are more open to other parenting styles and different viewpoints because we’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it. It’s important to us for our kids to learn multiple languages. It’s honestly something we’ve struggled with, getting our kids to speak Spanish. It doesn’t help that we lived in Mexico for less than four years. Alex speaks Spanish, but she doesn’t want to speak Spanish with me. I get that it’s weird. It’s odd to this day when I speak Spanish with my mom. But they need to speak it, so I need to push myself.

Being a TCK myself, I try to be more sensitive to what my kids are going through. Especially Alex, she’s eleven. I don’t know that Ivan will remember his time in Mexico. If we move to a different country again in a few years, I think living in that country will be a massive part of Ivan’s formative years. We try to be more sensitive to their emotional needs. We frequently asked Alex, “How do you feel about living in Mexico? Do you like it here?” Because of my husband’s work, we have the option to live in another country or not. It’s not like when I grew up, we always lived in Argentina. For our family, we are moving around a lot.

Breanne: And I think that’s an ever-growing trend. Traveling a lot more. Not just being a TCK but being a Global Nomad – having to move around. I don’t know.

Liz: Yeah. I don’t know, just trying to be more aware of what they might be struggling with.

Breanne: And you’ve gone through it too.

Liz: I’ve gone through it too. In Mexico, we stuck out like a sore thumb because we definitely looked like foreigners. Haha – there was that. Being sensitive to the kids in that situation. They were always the foreigner. Thankfully we found a decent school option for them. I think that’s it. Being more aware of their emotional well-being in general.

Breanne: Thank you so much, Liz! This was so awesome. I think it’s so good for me to hear different stories. I try to find overall themes. Every TCK story is so different and unique, but there are those themes. I’m trying to grasp them, so to speak.

Liz: Not every TCK I’ve talked to has struggled a lot. Every person is so different. Everyone’s life story is so different. People could have a very similar life story and approach it differently. I’ve talked to TCKs who really struggled and struggle even as adults. Others didn’t struggle at all. I appreciate you getting different stories because everyone’s story is valid. Even if you talk to someone who didn’t struggle a lot, someone else who didn’t wrestle with those issues might better relate to that person. I remember in college where people would talk about how much they struggle with something. I’d be like, I don’t struggle, so does that mean there’s something wrong with me?

Breanne: Yeah.

Liz: I just want to put that out there for some TCKs who might say I don’t have this monumental struggle. Maybe the culture they are growing up in isn’t that different from their parents’ culture, so there isn’t this vast disconnect. Maybe. I don’t know. Different people will struggle in different ways. So various stories of diverse struggles are excellent too. There’ll be something there for everybody.

Breanne: Yes.


Wow. There’s so much to unpack! I especially appreciated how she talked about realizing that other people’s upbringing, which has molded their way of thinking, is actually God’s plan for them. Our ways are not God’s ways. We might find someone’s views narrow-minded, but God can use them in ways he couldn’t use us because of their background, and vice versa!

What stood out to you all the most from this interview? I will answer all your comments 🙂