I write it at the top of a new entry, 1/1/18. This is the first time I have written it out and acknowledged the existence of a new year. I am sitting comfortably in an over sized chair, wrapped in a ridiculously, large blanket, in a cozy room decorated with my particular style of “random things I like”. I am married to a man who knows me fully and still loves me…even likes me, have a job that is a blessing to me, and a ministry in the hopeful stages of beginning before me.
I am overwhelmed. I am weary. I am speechless. I am unworthy. I am fearful, grateful, peaceful, purposeful and just plain in awe of what the turning of 365 days can do. The last 3 years…arguably the last 10 years, perhaps even 20 if you’ll allow me to dig that deep have been a constant cycle of nomadic, restlessness, lonely, and without grounding or purpose. Held captive by wandering, discontent with contentment, limited by my own arguments, and arguing for my own freedom.
I have landed, it seems by grace, for a moment, in a place where I feel loved, where I feel my home is. I am where I feel that illusive lightness of knowing that I am cared for, protected, and safe. I am shocked by the power in such simplicity and am led to consider that once we leave home for the first time under the pretense of autonomy, we are from that point forward working to re-create those feelings we once knew as unconditional love and unchallenged safety. No matter what we end up doing in the world of adulthood, we are nevertheless only doing it so that (If we had a good childhood) we can reestablish the feelings of a safe family unit, and (if we had a bad childhood) we work to create what we think that may be. In opposition and far more destructive, are those who passively attempt to forever remain children or passively slide into further dysfunction. Neither is desirable but are nonetheless working from a frame of reference that they believe will bring comfort.
As I see it, we long for peace, community and everlasting acceptance. The moment we realize that these are not the characteristics of this present world, we are forever straining consciously or unconsciously to create at least a pocket-sized version of protection.
So, yes, after 20 years I feel at home, and yet, I am not. If I see myself rightly, I see a nomad. Walking the earth for a breath and then gone. Our lives are short. I am perhaps half way through my own if I allow natural decay to run its course and avoid stepping in front of a bus. When I consider its brevity, I become sometimes painfully aware that if there is a point, I am missing most of it when I settle for what makes me comfortable and safe.
1 Chronicles 29:15 states “For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding…”
I still sit here, comfortably in my chair, grateful for a moment of rest but mindful that I am transient. This life I take hold of, and all of its pitfalls, glory, disappointments, and joy, cannot be taken lightly. I tumble through it like so many bulls in so many china shops. I fail. I fall. I break things. I learn. I rest. I move again. All the time I recognize that fearing the journey is a waste of time, and falling hard is a result of running hard.
Be mindful of what you are searching and longing for, but know that you won’t find it here. We are created for relationship with God, for work in His kingdom, and for resting in His presence. Regardless of where your journey takes you, that is where you are home.