More Thoughts on Home

I realized leading up to this vacation that I use the word home for both the house I grew up in where my parents still live, and for the apartment that Matt and I share now. It is strange to be in this situation, and I have noticed how hard it was to come “home” to Scarborough after such a wonderful time in Victoria.

It was interesting to notice that I did not feel home AT ALL when we landed, or on the drive home, although I do love how comfortable and familiar I am with Terminal 3 and the 401. When we got back to the apartment, I felt familiarity and comfort, but not really rest. My parents’ home is a place of rest and safety and belonging (and I know it will be, even after my bedroom gets repainted/repurposed :P). Our apartment is… a shell I think. A home when we are living in it, playing games with friends, chasing the dog around, cooking meals, watching movies. I am fond of this place, bugs and all (so many dead bugs when we got back lol). But nothing happens here that couldn’t happen somewhere else.

This somewhat melancholy realization, however, has emphasized the deep importance of my extremely great husband Matt to my comfort and safety. We were talking about being sad that our vacation had come to an end, but I was sooo happy that at least we were together here, that I don’t have to be away from home AND him.

Even before returning to Scarborough, God was preparing a conversation with me about home by reminding me that true, deep satisfaction will never be permanent on earth. Even the greatest moments of contentment and peace and joy are only foretastes of Heaven/eternity/God’s unbridled presence. Realizing this is always a reminder for me to guard against distractions and idolatry, to review where my time, energy and hopes are focused. Leaving home to come home, and longing for home has crystallized the truth that even more than Matt is my anchor as a partner, God has to be my ultimate anchor, who can make living anywhere a joy, who will fulfill every longing in his time, and who shapes and strengthens me through all of these experiences, from easy to hard.

Trusting that God is just as good here as at home where I feel him so much MORE is often hard. Each day back home was overflowingly, abundantly, deliciously good. I felt like love was soaking into my soul like sun soaking into my skin, and I hadn’t realized that I have been thirsty, drying out little bit by little bit. It is scary to be back now, and I am afraid to lose the joy of home and the generous, flexible spirit that comes with it.

I think my instinctive response to this fear is to harden my heart to new places and people. Letting my heart stretch is not easy for me, and the more I love, I feel the harder it will be for the idea of home to ever be fulfilled for me in one place. This isn’t how I want to live, but I also don’t want to overcompensate by pursuing tons of shallow friendships or going broke making the apartment “homey” or other distractions to avoid ever feeling sad or lonely.

I do not believe that God would have me give up on ever feeling truly happy and at rest on Earth. BUT I also believe that God would not have me pursue happiness or rest instead of Him. He is the way.

He is home.

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Susan 31-08-2011, 12:36

I know exactly what you mean and I was having very similar thoughts on my walk back from the corner store this morning. I love how constant your dad is for me in life and yet I'm certain he is only an illustration for me from God on how it's my Heavenly Father who is the real constant in life. The fact that I notice though is good, and the realignment of my heart is healthy as I bow my self to God's Lordship again and remember that my purpose and home are found in Him.

With much love…


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