It seems like such a far fetched concept to me many a days, this home thing. What does home really mean? Is home where I grew up? Is it where my parents are? Is home where I currently live? Is home wherever my husband is? Or is it wherever we plant roots one day? Is home a house? WHAT IS HOME?
This string of questions is only reflective of the crazy I have felt in the past two years trying to figure out “home”.
See, I grew up a Texas girl for most of my life. When I left for college and crossed the border into Oklahoma, Texas was still home. I currently lived in Stillwater, OK during the school year, but going back to Amarillo meant going home. Oklahoma was temporary and I would be back to the great state (LOL, jk) soon enough.
Then I met a boy. An Oklahoma boy. A boy who would be going to medical school for another four years after college IN OKLAHOMA. We fell in love, got married, and all of a sudden, I was permanently an Oklahoma resident.
All those years of college, although I lived far away, I still felt like I knew where home was. I remember the day that I officially packed up and moved out of my parent’s house for good right before I got married. Something was very different from all the other times I had packed up and moved out to go to college. This felt permanent. This felt like what I knew as “home” was crumbling. And it hurt.
We moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma (where we currently live), where my husband grew up and had family and memories, and a sense of “home”. But I had none of that and I felt like I was floundering trying to make this place feel like mine too. I felt pressured to love this new place and be thrilled to be where I was. But the truth was, I didn’t and I wasn’t.
My heart was torn. If Amarillo wasn’t home anymore and this new place didn’t feel like home, WHERE WAS HOME?!
I kinda felt like a lone-wanderer in sea of people who have lived and loved here their whole life.
As time went on, Tulsa began to feel more normal and I felt like I had a little sense of “homeness” here. But this place doesn’t feel permanent either. In just a short year and half, my husband will graduate from medical school and we will head off to do a four year residency somewhere.
Then, after four years of residency, we will decide where we are going to live. The odds of us staying and living in the place where we do residency is very slim, so once again, we head off to a new land for a temporary time, and there seems to be no real direction of where we will one day plant our roots.
So this home thing has felt very elusive lately.
But then again, maybe it feels elusive for everyone. Whether you are someone who has moved around and lived in a million different places, or you have lived in the same place all your life, we are all aching for the perfect place to call home.
Sounds so Christian cliche to say “we don’t belong here…we aren’t home yet”. But I will say it till the cows come home because it’s the truth and it comforts me to the depths of my soul. We weren’t made for this earth. There will always be an aching in us until the day that we are united for eternity with our Savior.
I think the Lord knows our tendencies to cling onto the things of this world. To nestle ourselves into our little nooks of the universe and get real comfortable…I think he knows my tendency. I think he knows my heart that longs for comfort and stability and family and normalcy and home sometimes more than I long to go wherever and suffer through whatever to further know him and to further the Kingdom. I think he knows my short term spiritual memory that I so often forget that my residency is in Heaven.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”
As I thought through what word or phrase I wanted to live out this year, the words “get uncomfortable” kept coming to my mind. The Lord had been convicting me over the past several months that I love my comforts. Like, a lot. And I tend to run and try to fix it all when I start to feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. I want my life so-so, and I want warmth, and good food, and easy relationships, and sleep, and no awkwardness, and all things hunky-dory. HA.
Except nothing about that life reminds me of the life of Jesus, who suffered and endured a hard and uncomfortable life. Now hear me, God is the giver of all good things and he loves to bless his children. Blessings in this life are given from God himself and are good things! It’s when the comforts become the ultimate rather than The Comforter. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
In Exodus, the Israelites were freed from their slavery in Egypt and were led by Moses into the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. They wandered in the wilderness for forty years and God’s presence was with the people. At night he was there by fire and by day he was there by cloud. Numbers 9:17, 22 & 23 tells us, “Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped..Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out”.
At the Lord’s command they stayed and at the Lord’s command they moved. I love that picture. Whether it’s 2 months, 2 years, or 2 decades, I want to move wherever the Lord commands me to move. I want to be wherever the Lord is.
See, like the Israelites, we are wandering in the wilderness of this earth. We have the presence of God always with us, and when “the cloud moves” are we willing to follow it? And when it stays put, are we willing to set up camp?
I want to follow the Lord and go wherever he is leading my husband and I, all the days of my life. I want to be near to the presence of God, sensitive to the Spirit, obedient to the call, all the way through to the day I enter the Promised Land.
No more seeking the comforts of this world, instead, walking through the wilderness seeking my Comforter.
“Home” on the worldly standards may always feel a little bit elusive for me, but honestly, I am so thankful for that. It’s taken awhile to get there, but I’m seriously so thankful. Wherever the Lord asks me to stay, I want to be ALL in. It may not “feel like home”, but I’m learning that’s okay. My heart was made for another world, and the less I feel at home in this world is probably for the better. But with the temporary home that God has asked me to set up camp in, I’m all in. That’s the place the Lord has asked me to be on mission for his Kingdom, and what better place for me to be than where the cloud sits.
Let’s go, Tulsa, Oklahoma. God’s got me here and that’s exactly where I want to be.
“My heart lives in so many places. With so many people. But God whispers to me that I really have only one home, and that is with Him. I will never be content on this earth. I will always be a nomad. It was meant to be that way. My heart was created with a desire for a home, a nest, a sanctuary, and that can be found only with Him in Heaven.”