We had just moved again. Tearfully saying goodbye to a beautiful season of ministry, I was propelled into another unwelcomed one. For the first time in my life, I was somewhere I didn’t want to be. I was hanging onto my calling to missions, but only loosely. My hand limp, I cried weakly, “God, I can’t do this. It’s too much, this missionary life; this inevitable, unstoppable series of moves from one place to another.”
In the darkest and loneliest season of my life, I wanted only one thing. I wanted to go home. Except we couldn’t. So my cries of inadequacy were quieted only when I sat down with my Bible. One day in that fleeting quietness, I reached Psalm 90: 1, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!” Tears streaming down my face, dotting the page, I could not move my eyes from that word. Home. It wasn’t a place 3,000 miles away, it was a person. It was Him.
Slowly over the course of the next few days, I was able to identify what home meant to me, release it and delight in the perfection of my new Home.
I started out by declaring that I wanted to live in the same house on the same street for the rest of my life. No more moves. No more suitcases.
He gently corrected me.
What I really wanted wasn’t a white house on Main Street, but Him. “Child, the stability you crave is only found in me! I am the eternal, incorruptible Lord. I do not change! I’m the same yesterday, today and forever. I am your home.”
Then I explained that I wanted to be one of the belongers, to have my name written in the collective story, the shared history of a people. No more wondering how I fit. No more being an outsider.
He spoke back, “Have you forgotten? You are already one of the belongers. I chose you before the foundation of the earth. I wrote your name in the epic of the redeemed with My own Son’s blood. You’re not an outsider! You’re accepted in the Beloved and seated at My right hand forever. I am your home.”
Finally, I confessed my longing for deep, meaningful relationships. Friendships that would allow me to barge through the front door with barely a knock, plop down on the couch and tell my truth without fear. Ties unthreatened by the brokenness of my humanity, ties unadulterated by judgment. No more being weighed in the balance. No more exhausting guardedness.
This time He whispered. “Child,” he said, “this freedom to barge into an earthly den and be met with open arms? It’s only a shadow. I am the fulfillment, the One casting that shadow. You have free access to Me through the Spirit! I welcome you to pour out your heart boldly and frankly, though you are broken and naked and lacking. There is no condemnation for you at this throne. Only grace. I am your home.”
It’s been seven years (and as many moves) since the light of Home shined hope into that dark season of my life. Still, I have much to learn about this exchange of temporal for eternal, of seen for unseen, of the shadow for the fulfillment. How thankful I am that the Spirit faithfully directs me Home to the One who satisfies my every longing.
“That something we long for, whether it be an island in the west or the other side of a mountain or perhaps a schooner yacht, long for it in the belief that it will mean joy, which it never fully does, because what we are really longing for is God.” --Sheldon VanAuken, A Severe Mercy
[Editor's note: Thanks, Shilo! Connect with Shilo on her blog: myplaceofpeace.blogspot.com What's brewing with you? "Open Mike" will go through the end of December; please submit your post to firstname.lastname@example.org]