I have to share this post written by my niece Allie Roberts who is away at college. I hope it brightens your day and gives you fresh perspective. Happy Tuesday, everyone!
Home (noun): the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or a household.
The Googled definition of ‘home’ doesn’t quite do it justice. Home is complex. I’ve always heard, “Home is where the heart is.” But, what if your heart is in a million different places & yet, at the same time, you know your home isn’t here at all. Since I left for college, I’ve struggled with the idea of ‘home.’ My family is where I lived for eighteen years, so that must be home, right? Wait, but my GPS says my home is the building I live in on campus & sometimes it feels like home, but sometimes, it feels like the furthest thing from it. Then again, some of my best friends and my boyfriend are all spread out, and those people make me feel at home, too. These thoughts race through my head all of the time & man, my anxiety can be at an all-time high when I feel uncertain about where I belong. But recently, I’ve concluded that ‘home’ shouldn’t make me feel unsure because the word in itself is reassurance.
I grew up in a house that my parents built right before I was born. Looking at the outside, I’ve always felt like it’s the kind of house you see in a children’s book where the family is perfect & the life is perfect – where everything is just how it should be. And, though we are far from perfect, for the most part, growing up in our quaint, little town was a dream. I always felt like I belonged when I walked up our front porch steps, into the living room, and sat down on my couch (I’m sure you have one in your house, too.) with my family surrounding me. I feel at home when I’m there. I feel safe & at peace, and isn’t that home?
My dorm room is a shoebox. It is crammed & small, but it’s also cozy & all that I really need. I come in after class, sit down at my desk while talking to my roommate, and everything feels right. The lights lining our room are always on, the sun always shining through our window, and the diffuser always helping us unwind after a stressful day at college (which is every day HA). When I’m in my dorm, I never feel alone. My pod mates are practically my sisters, and I can talk to them about anything. They give the best advice, listen to me drone on & on about whatever is going on in my life that day, and they lift me up constantly. We’re all growing right alongside each other, and in our small, little shoebox, I feel like I’m flourishing. Isn’t that what home is supposed to feel like?
A lot of important people in my life are quite a distance away. And let me tell ya, if anyone tells you that distance isn’t difficult – they are lying through their teeth. It was one of the hardest parts about graduating, leaving, and accepting that a new chapter of my life was beginning. Though I was excited about moving forward, part of me was so frightened that the ones who had been such a big part of my life would slowly drift away & leave me feeling empty. And, to be honest, some have & that hurts; however, my best friends have stayed by my side even if they’re two or four or more hours away. They all hold a little piece of me, so I often struggle with the idea that my heart can be divided amongst so many people that are in so many different places. How can home possibly be where the heart is?
Hopefully, you’ve stuck it out because, folks, here’s the reassurance: our home isn’t here at all. My family, roommates, friends, and boyfriend are all extremely important to me, but none of them is my home. My home is actually not even on this earth. (I know, it sounds kinda out there.) But, here’s the thing, the Lord offers us a home incomparable to any home we can have or share with people of this world. Hebrews 13:14 (NLT) says, “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” What a beautiful notion. It is incredible to know that though all of the important people in my life are strewn all over the place, we all have the same home to return to. We all have the same Lord that loves us unconditionally and that cannot wait to call us back someday. We all have the opportunity to accept the peace He offers & to accept the invitation into His eternal home. This world is imperfect & our homes here will never be like the ones in storybooks. In 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NLT), Paul is telling the same thing to the people of Corinth. He writes, “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” The Lord has prepared for us a perfect home, a home offered to us because of His sacrifice. He offers us a home that leaves no room for questions or anxiousness or worry of any kind. And I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to be at home someday.