Thoughts on finding home
At 17, I couldn’t wait to get out on my own. I chose a college in the Florida panhandle, as far away from where I’d been living near D.C. as I could imagine. It wasn’t just the distance that helped me choose that school, the decision was solidified by my certainty that God was indeed calling me to that place.
Sometimes when I look back now, I don’t know what to make of that short semester away from home.
The school turned out to be worse than a poor fit for me, and as a clear demonstration of God’s provision and foreknowledge, He had stationed my military family within an hour of the very place I had run off to.
After all of my aching to be out on my own, to be away from home, 6 months later I found myself back under the same roof with the people I had been so eager to kiss goodbye. Admittedly, my leaving hadn’t been one of rebellion or disdain. I’ve always been a bit of an independent–eager to own my own life. I didn’t now it then, but this return to home would be the beginning of a long unraveling of my incesant desire for independence.
I didn’t want to need anyone or anything. Including God.
Coming home marked the beginning of my salvation. Home became a place of refuge, a hospice for healing. At home, I surprisingly found space, which eased my desire to live independently. I didn’t anticipate the recovery I would need after that brief semester at school. I couldn’t have known, but God did–and His faithfulness to bring home to me, has served as a constant reminder of the mercy He has for wayward souls.
Coming home, I found God.
I found hope.
I tasted the sweetness of the very grace I had fled from.
My friend Emily Wierenga knows about leaving home. In her memoir, Atlas Girl, Emily tells her own story of finding home. I started Emily’s book before leaving for vacation and even as one very familiar with Emily’s writing, I found her book an even richer volume of her gifted storytelling. The gentle honesty with which she shares some of the undeniably harder memories of her life growing up, further enforces my respect for her as both a writer and a friend. As Emily discovered, there is deep beauty to behold in the broken spaces of our fragile lives. Reading her words reminds me to look for the beauty, to remember God’s faithfulness in my own life, and to embrace living in at home, in the palm of His hand.
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