I have been wrestling more with a very important question recently than I usually do, although it has been an issue for about 3 years now. Where is home? Those of us who have picked up our once-deep roots like a too-long skirt and plopped them down in a new country are often faced with the constant conundrum of “home.” I have read from several other writers that I’m not the only one who feels the need to use air quotes whenever I say the word “home”. Because what once was my home (for 18 some odd years) now feels like more of a hotel, but the country and people I have served for the past 4 years have yet to accept me as their own. So by now I’m not really sure what home looks like without quotations marks.
I read a blog post called Heading Home a while ago, which echoed the words I couldn’t quite say. She, too, has had all of her earthly homes stripped away one by one – for me, it was my grandparents’ house, then my great-grandmother’s, then finally the setting of my own childhood – a forced release of attachment to earthly dwelling places. But her conclusion was exactly what my heart has been begging me to realize:
So where is my home? And what constitutes a home? They say “home is where the heart is.” Where is my heart? Where should it be?
Matthew 6:21 tells us, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Where is my treasure? If I cast my eye to the verse that precedes this one, I read: “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Like the cloud of witnesses described in Hebrews 11, I should be longing for a better country — a heavenly one. And truly, this is my prayer — not only for myself, but for my children as well — that the instability of our living circumstances would ever remind us that we are strangers and aliens here, that this earthly tabernacle is not our true home. Indeed, I groan inwardly as I eagerly await my adoption and redemption (Romans 8:23).
I’m grateful that my Lord has gone ahead to prepare a place for me (John 14:2) and that He has given me His Spirit as a deposit as I wait for my welcome into my eternal home.
So the next time I am asked the simple question, “Are you going home?” regardless of my destination, I will be able to answer with confidence, “Yes. Yes, I am.” Purely because of the grace of God and His free gift of salvation, I can rest secure in my eternal destination. And that, after all, is all that really matters.
Although I felt like part of me had been carelessly ripped out at each of the losses of “home,” I know that each one prepared me for the calling of God on my life. I have no long-term plans besides “follow the Lord.” I surrender each year to Him, asking Him to show me what is coming next, if I am to stay, or where I am to go. 4 years ago, I heard, “Go.” So I did. The past 3 years, I have heard, “Stay.” So I have. But now, once again, I am hearing, “Go.” I thought it was to another place in this Latin culture I have come to love. But over the past nine months, the Lord has clearly shown me that He is sending me to the one place I thought I would never return: “home” (cue air quotes).
In mid-June, after my last year at Destino has come to its close, I will be heading back to Texas in order to accomplish what God has been slowly revealing to me. I honestly can’t tell you what it’s going to look like. For the last nine months, I have been on a heart-wrenching roller coaster of “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through every hello and goodbye, there has been a new breaking, and right now I know that the Lord is calling me to lay down working for him (the constant struggle and striving that has characterized these 4 years) and just come to be present with Him and find my rest in Him. To echo Jesus’ heart and prayer that “they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
My heart is still with my café-skinned amigos, but I have come to realize that the need here is greater than my abilities at the moment, so I am going back to get equipped for whatever my omniscient Guide has in store for me in the years to come. I hope that will include some seminary studies and eventually counseling, but I haven’t any idea the path I will be taking to get there.
Please be praying for me:
- First of all, finish well. We have a lot of work still to accomplish here in these last 4 weeks before I head out for a new adventure, and I want to bring glory to my Creator with every single day I have to serve and love here.
- Second, pray for patience and trust that God will provide all my needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.
- And third, that I may listen well and follow the Lord’s voice and leading. That doors that need to open will open, and those that need to close will close.
There are so many unknowns in my near future – I feel like I’m heading into a blank slate with only a few random squiggles for direction. Still, Abba is faithful. He has provided the most important thing – a church home – and I will have a roof over my head. For everything else, a simple hymn describes it better than I: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way.”
Dios le bendiga.
P.S. As always, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to send me an email (address is on the “About” page) or comment here. Thanks! Love you!