Leaving Narnia…My MK World

Something about transitions always brings on an identity crisis. Who am I? Where am I from? And where do I belong?

You see, I’m a senior this year. I just started my last year of high school. Another huge transition is looming.

Part of me is ready to become independent. I’m excited. I’m eager for new experiences and friendships. But the other part of me is a scared of the unknown. Change is hard.

I’m realizing how much I love my MK world. Right here. Right now.

During a recent annual MK gathering, these feelings only intensified. I experienced beautiful connections, rich conversations, and true belonging. I relished these feelings, though, with an aching heart. These friends get me. They understand me. They know me. And I’m about to leave.

“These feelings are the same for all seniors,” non-MKs might say.

And up to a point, we do share the same feelings. But unlike non-MKs, this is a world I can never return to. Unlike non-MKs, I don’t know if I will ever see my childhood friends or delight in the many experiences that make up my MK lifestyle again.

 With one airplane ride, I will lose the childhood world I’ve come to cherish.

As I’ve wrestled with this unsettling reality, God spoke to me in an unexpected way—through a movie called Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

The movie, based on a C.S. Lewis book, is the third in the series about four children who travel to the imaginary world Narnia. Here, they find true belonging, discover their destiny, and meet the ruler of this kingdom, the magnificent and wise lion, Aslan. Throughout the series, each child learns an important lesson. Eventually, they grow up and move on, but never forget the lessons Narnia and Aslan taught them.

I’ve watched the movie many times. But this time, I resonated with the characters in a way I never had before. Their sadness at leaving Narnia seemed to mirror my own sadness. Through a conversation with a dear friend of mine, I discovered something startling:

My MK world has become my Narnia. 

I’ve learned how to have sweet fellowship with God (just like the characters in the movie did with Aslan) in my MK world. I’ve learned who He is here. I’ve learned what He’s like and how to meet with Him. I’ve connected with other teens just like me. Despite my changing surroundings, I have a home with my family. I fit in this world.

But I’ll be leaving this world soon. With this rapidly-approaching transition, my MK identity has begun to ask me the same old questions.

Who are you? Where are you from? Where do you belong?

And new questions like…

Who is God in my new life? How will I connect with Him?

At the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of the characters begins crying as she leaves Narnia to go back to her other world.

“Will we ever see you again?” she asks Aslan, who represents God.

“I am in your world,” said Aslan. But there, I have another Name. You must learn to know me by that Name. That was the very reason you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little while, you may know me better there.”

God has been whispering this into my heart for the past few weeks.

“I will be in your new world too,” He’s said. “But I’ll have another Name. You must learn to know me by that Name.”

I realized that the gift of my MK ‘Narnia’ was to experience God’s presence and power firsthand, and to learn how to connect with Him. Just like the characters in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, my purpose in knowing Him here is so that I can know Him better in my new world.

Of course there is sadness and hesitancy about leaving what I’ve grown to love: my current world and current experience of God. But I’m anticipating connecting with Him more deeply in a new place.


16 thoughts on “Leaving Narnia…My MK World

  1. This was the BEST blog yet. It thrilled my heart to read what God HAS and IS working in you. Truly Psalm 16:6 is true in your life…”The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”

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  2. I love this at so many levels! I love it because I love the Narnia series and quote it all the time; I love it because this is exactly how I remember feeling – and then feeling again when I was overseas as an adult TCK and we left. Thank you for your lovely writing.

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    1. Thank you so much, Marilyn! I love the Narnia series too and have watched it many times, but I’ve never connected the character’s time in Narnia with the TCK/MK experience before. Excited to see how God reveals Himself to me by another Name in my other world. 🙂

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  3. Expressed with love and wisdom. We love meeting up with the ones we ministered to in Bolivia as dorm parents with New Tribes. Those kids, now adults will if possible come visit us when we are near them. When we do connect its like we never were apart. The connection cannot be replaced by anything else and we are blessed to be a part of kids life. Of course our two adult children with their own family are TCK. Our daughter and her MK husband served overseas for 14 years. There is no one they would rather be with than those from their MK past, they just pick up where they left off. Great post.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I loved reading about how you and your children still connect so deeply with the MKs you once served with. I resonate with what you said about feeling like you were never apart. I feel the same way with my MK friends! Thank you for encouraging me that these special connections “cannot be replaced with anything else”– and that there is still hope we will meet again someday. God bless!

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  4. I really appreciate your insight! My MK world was my “Narnia” too, though I never thought of it that way before this post! What a comfort it is to know that God is sovereign and faithful and good no matter where we live. Thank you for reminding us of these truths.

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Grace! God is truly sovereign and faithful and good… learning to rest in that right now during this transition! You mentioned that you are an MK too. Where was your “Narnia”? 🙂

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  5. Taylor, thank you for your wise insightful reflections and your willingness to be vulnerable. I am enjoying your blogs;
    “7 spot on ways TCKs deal with grief ” and this one, “Leaving Narnia”. I am so impressed by how God is blessing you; with deep understanding, self awareness, and the way you demonstrate this understanding through this incredible gift of writing. As a therapist, your insights are very eye opening, helpful, and touch my heart deeply. Thank you.

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  6. I loved this post. Mostly because I completely understood it as an MK from Africa. I can also relate to the unease of the college transition having just made that transition last year. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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  7. This was brilliant! Thank you, Taylor, for great insights. Just came across your blog, and it’s hard to stop scrolling through your posts, both to enjoy your good writing, as well as feeling my heart resonate with it. It’s often grieved me that I never could go back to my Narnia (meaning the full experience of what life was like back then), even after several disappointing attempts. Ethiopia, being my childhood paradise, simply will never be the same again, and I’ve accepted that. The parallel you made between an MK’s host country and Narnia simply is brilliant, and I am pretty certain one that I will never forget and always find helpful 🙂 Blessings!

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