Home Sweet Home
Homesickness by definition is: the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects.
My husband and I have moved nine times in our life together. Some in town and some cross country. Each move has left its mark even if we were moving ahead with excitement and anticipation we’ve still had to leave dear friends and family behind. We have left dreams of what we thought would be. In doing so you can imagine I've experienced my fair share of homesickness. At times it came with waves rolling in and out of familiar nostalgia. Other times it was swift and piercing. We've lived in our current house for five years which is almost a record for us. So it's right on schedule that we've recently started to get the longing for something new. It’s too soon to tell whether the longing in something that God has placed on our hearts or whether we’ve just had a bad week. I think there are times homesickness can present itself when circumstances are difficult. When we are struggling we sometimes long for the home we haven't yet seen. We think- if we only (fill in the blank) then we'd be happy. Content. Sometimes, for me, the feelings of homesickness isn’t due to being separated from home but separated from thoughts of what home could be.
One of the moves we’ve had was from a home that we thought was the one. We loved it and the property it sat upon. We had such dreams and hopes for the future we would have there. Through a series of events that “forever home” is no longer ours. Turns out it was temporary after all.
For some time after I dealt with feelings of shame, guilt, remorse and homesickness. We were “responsible" people. We did everything possible to keep that home and avoid foreclosure. But it wasn't ours to keep. It wasn't our forever home. That's what I walked away with. No matter the dorm, apartment, basement, duplex, gorgeous house you lay your head at tonight it's only sticks & stones. Temporary. But there is hope. No matter how fleeting the time in our houses here is or not, there is hope.
Our hope can be in this: the homesickness and longing we experience are for our home with God. Our place is beside Him. We weren't made to live separate from Him. On our own. We will always experience homesickness in this world no matter if we are near family or not. No matter if we have that extra bathroom or not. We will always have longing for "something more." Because there is something more. Something forever. Something that will satisfy and allow us to no longer feel as though we are strangers in this world. That is something to put our hope in. What if we spent a little more time thinking about our true "forever home?" What if instead of thinking what all we could do to the houses we live in now (don’t get me wrong I love Chip & Joanna too) we spent that time thinking about how we could prepare for the home we will have when time doesn't end? Maybe, just maybe, our longings then would turn to thoughts of joy and hope rather than distress or impairment. Maybe then our homesickness would draw us closer to The One who holds the only key we will need for all of eternity.
This week's article is by Theresa Adams, a Redeemer member, a wife & a mom, who would someday love to have her own roller skating rink & thinks getting her kids to eat kale is major victory!