I love being home. Just putzing around or creating in my kitchen while the kids run around in their jammies. It’s peaceful. It’s relaxing. It is home. I don’t have to wash my hair or shave my legs. I don’t have to put on real pants. Or any pants at all, for that matter so you should probably text before you just drop by. Most days, I am perfectly content here. But sometimes, I notice a stirring in my soul. It starts small but typically grows more noticeable over time. I don’t know how to describe it other than there is an angst in my guts. Unsettled. It’s not my favorite, so I start looking for answers. Is it something I’ve forgotten or someplace I’m supposed to be? No, it’s deeper.
Home. I never realized how much my soul is searching for it until I bump up against a day where it can’t seem to be found. I’ve made home in some pretty unhealthy places in my life. Food. Music. Relationships. Zip Codes. My mind, will and emotions have attached themselves to so many people and places over the years and called that home. A resting place. Finally an end to the searching and wandering. THIS place, THAT person will meet my needs and give rest to my soul. But as I’m sure you have already guessed, they have all disappointed. Every. Last. One.
Which is dumb. I should know this. I have been a Christian since I was 8, or 13, depending on which church camp game of “YOU'RE GOING TO HELL UNLESS YOU REPENT RIGHT NOW” you want to count. You pick. Either way, I have known about Jesus my whole life. And then I actually met Jesus at 27. Not religion or church, but I met Jesus. In a room full of addicts, I saw and experienced Jesus in a way that changed my life forever. So I should know that He always has been and always will be the only place I will find home. Yet here I am.
Driving around on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with the windows down and some 80’s country on the stereo with an iced tea in my hand, my insides still ache. While I have been through some pretty rough wilderness seasons in my life, everything feels like it is moving in the right direction at the moment. There are definitely some heavy places in my world, but that isn’t it. My guts feel like they’ve been at a crowded amusement park for days and I just need to find a quiet corner to sit and catch my breath. But there is no quiet corner. There isn’t even a corner. Like I’m stuck in a snowglobe full of people and I just want to get out! Then it hits me.
I’ve been looking for home in all the wrong places. Looking for home in too many faces. Searching their eyes, looking for traces of I’m dreaming of. HA! Thank you, Johnny Lee. Revelation brings me back to what I know. The only real safe place to land is Jesus. King David was the master of this. Whether in the palace or hiding in a cave from Saul, he knew the Lord was his only home. In Psalms 73:25-26, he shares his secret with us.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Yep. My flesh and heart have failed. But I am not condemned. Just gently redirected back to home, and then it hits me. The reason He is home is because I am not of this world. In it, but not of it. I am a child of God and His home is my home. My Father’s house is the only place I will ever find what I’m looking for. No wonder everything else here falls flat eventually. This world can’t really compete with heaven, I don’t care how good the sweet tea is.
So for now, while I am on this side of glory, I will be intentional. When I find my soul being pulled or tugged to the places that seem like home, I will yell “squirrel!” I will fix my eyes on Jesus. I will fight the feelings with the fact and I will remind myself that while it feels good in the moment, this too shall pass.
After all, there’s no place like home.