A TCK contributed this article anonymously to my blog. Coming from someone who grew up abroad, it means so much more than if I had written it. Does it resonate with you? >>>
A very wise friend made an interesting observation to my husband and I, both TCKs, recently. She was trying to encourage us after a difficult month of disheartening circumstances. At first, she was hesitant to tell us her observation, because she is not a third culture kid, and did not know if it would be offensive or misunderstood by us.
Sandy said that upon meeting Luke and many times after, he described himself as “a weird TCK.” She said that it was time to leave that behind. She told Luke that he was a competent, smart, capable, mature, not weird, hard worker, and that describing or introducing himself, or even excusing actions or attitudes because he was a “weird TCK” was hurting him.
She said that it was time to leave that behind.
Why was it hurting him? Maybe he had made that his whole identity. Maybe he had made it his excuse. Maybe he had made it his crutch. Whatever the reason, in saying that, he was putting himself down, and not allowing himself the capability of being who God wanted him to be.
While I don’t think our friend entirely understands being an TCK, and that most of the time when Luke said he was a weird TCK he was probably just joking about why he is a little different than most 30-year-old men that you meet, she has a great point.
Sometimes we blame our irresponsibility on being a TCK. Sometimes we blame our difficulties with socializing on being an TCK. Sometime we allow ourselves to be less of a hard worker. Because, we’ll always just be weird, and there is nothing we can do to change that.
Sandy’s encouragement made tears well up in my eyes. It may have been the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to either of us about being a TCK.
Yes, we are different, that fact will never change. Being a TCK does change how you act, who you are. I would never change my weird upbringing, would not trade it for anything in the world. I cannot however, use it as a crutch or an excuse. I cannot listen to the whispers in my head that it makes me any less smart or usable.
God made each of us in his own image, it does not matter what upbringing we experience. He gave us our unusual backgrounds, but we can’t let that undermine the fact that He also made us strong, capable individuals, who can use our experiences to help Him serve others better.
1 Samuel 12:24 “But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”