My family and I recently moved to a new suburb. While still in the same state, we are now almost an hour away from many friends and family. In my old area I took much for granted. Like knowing where the nearest grocery store was, and being able to drop the kids at mum’s without embarking on an epic journey.
Until I moved I didn’t realise how powerful being in familiar surroundings was. There’s comfort in waking up to a house – and a suburb – full of memories that in a way, define your existence. When you leave your house – either to relocate with your family or to start out on your own for the first time – there are some strong feelings associated. You are leaving the home you’ve created to this point. You are farewelling the familiar, the safe. You are taking a chance – testing out your independence in a sense.
Leaving the area I had lived in for over 15 years was a big decision, but one I was ready to make. I felt God urging me to move away a little from the familiar in order to, in a way, redefine the meaning of home.
A couple of weeks ago my Grandma died. She was 99 so she had lived a long time – though living with dementia for more than 10 years made us question her quality of life. But she loved Jesus and put him first in her life – and we felt a peace that when she died, she went to be with him in heaven, her true spiritual home.
What has your quality of life been for the last 10 or more years? What is your home like? What was it growing up?
For those of us who have known the feeling of being unconditionally accepted in our homes for simply who we are – not what we offer, what income we bring in, how proud we make our parents or how we meet their emotional needs – this is a priceless feeling.
But let’s face it. For many of us, unconditional acceptance was and is far from us – or at least only a fleeting feeling. When we have it, it’s like we’re flying – but where there is condemnation or judgement on what we did or didn’t do, something inside us closes up.
I like the feeling of going to my mum’s house, knowing that when I visit she’ll enjoy preparing a a snack or something refreshing for me. She’ll often tell me to sit down and rest, and will fuss over me. She does that well – and even though I am over 30 and a mum myself, this nurturing feels important from time to time… But you and I both know that no matter how nurturing, loving or kind our parents or spouses are or weren’t… there will always be something lacking. They can never really provide for all our emotional needs. I think part of the growing-up process is learning how to care for our own needs and parent ourselves in a sense. Putting the proverbial bandaid on our daily wounds.
But despite all I have discovered about self-reliance and care, I still find, unless filled, there is a hole in my heart. It’s crying out for something or someone more. Especially when I stuff up, or walk away from the familiar to go my own way…
In the Bible, Luke 15:11-32 tells the story of a lost son who left home in order to find himself…
He threw away his father’s money, much to the aggravation of his brothers. He did everything he could to turn his back on his family. Yet when he came home, this is what his father said: “When he [the son] was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!'”
No matter what you’ve done or how far from your spiritual or physical home you’ve gone – the Father’s arms are always waiting, calling you back. He delights in me as his child no matter what I’ve done. When I return to this relationship with him he welcomes me back with open arms and throws a massive party. How cool is that?!
I believe Luke 15:11-32 captures the heart of God beautifully. And how amazing is this? In his house we can be who we are. He knows his children and loves us despite everything, because of who he is. Nothing’s gonna take his love for his kids away.
Are you connected with a church home which resonates of the Father’s forgiveness, grace and acceptance, no matter who you are or what you’ve done?
I am far from the perfect parent. I stuff up so much, every day! But I have a heavenly father who never does. And in his strength I can be a better parent. In my relationship with God the Father, I have access to endless mercy and love. It’s scandalous that he should offer me so much, given who I am and what I’ve done to reject him. But he can and does. In the person of Jesus, his death on the cross for my sins paid the price needed to restore our relationship. His coming alive from the dead showed us he was really God. And he has the power and the willingness to welcome us – those who choose to spend our lives loving him – home. Forever.
And I tell you what… knowing where my true home is, and that Jesus is with me wherever I go – gives me the courage to make my home anywhere in the world…
Before you go, why don’t you check out this video:
Amen! Thank you so much for the reminder that we are aliens in this world and that feeling of not quite belonging, well, that’s normal and only points me to my real home.
Eternity will be so great!
Thank you, and amen – it’s going to be awesome 🙂
I love the story of the prodigal son, and the father’s acceptance of his son. Earthly love is so flawed…though I believe I would embrace my lost child, I wonder if I might harbor just a tiny bit of resentment or anger. Good thing God’s love isn’t like that 🙂
Totally 🙂 Our emotions towards our children, etc, are complex and I would struggle with that too for sure. It’s amazing how perfect and full of love our God really is.
Beautiful piece Ali 🙂 It’s so comforting to know that the Father’s arms are always open, welcoming us regardless of how we have stuffed up. People say home is where the heart is, and I pray that God will help me put my heart in the right place–where He is.
Thanks heaps Shadow 🙂 Beautifully said – it’s amazing what strength, comfort and renewal we find in his arms when we return (which can sometimes be a daily thing).
It was great to meet you today, ‘Shadow’! I just checked out your blog and I love it!!! You have a beautiful heart and mind. I love the song you wrote on the emotional journey of motherhood – it really moved me… wow. I think I signed up to follow your blogs, so looking forward to reading more.
Thanks so much Ali 🙂
I needed to read this tonight. Especially the part about growing up and having Jesus meet our needs, not a parent or a spouse. Love your words and thanks for following my blog!
Awesome, it’s great how God can step in and speak to us when we need it 🙂 May God bless you on your journey, and I look forward to reading more of your blogs.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, GodGirl. I enjoyed your post about the prodigal son. . .and how Jesus is our true home. I’ll be checking in to read more!
God bless you!
Thank you heaps Jean – I look forward to reading more of yours too. God bless! 🙂
Thank you Jean! And I look forward to following your work too. God bless.
So beautifully put! Thank you for helping us to think about home and unconditional love and our Jesus. God bless you!
Thanks Debbie! 🙂
This was good for me today. I had taken something familiar for granted, and was shocked when I realized my bus routes had been changed dramatically–I can’t go to the Bible bookstore anymore!! True, I couldn’t afford to go there more than once a year–but I was hoping to, today. Not happening. But on the UP-side, I realized that Jesus–who is more and more familiar as I get older–will never change! I don’t have to take a bus to get to Him–wherever I go, there He is!!! Yay, God!!! Have a much-blessed day, GodGirl!! sis Caddo
I’m so glad this was a blessing to you today Caddo, and that you found him right where you ended up being.. He’s so amazingly all-sufficient isn’t he?! And I hope you get to go to the store one day soon too. Love and blessings to you, and thanks for commenting 🙂 x
This is a beautiful post. I get the sense that you are going to find some of your very best friends in your life with this new move. It is going to be a wonderful change! Hang in there gorgeous. You are always being loved on by the big guy (the REALLY big guy)! 😉
Wow.. thank you so much.. The big guy is so good to me! I wait in anticipation… thank you for this encouragement!! 🙂
You are a rockstar! Thanks for sharing your awesomeness with me. Btw I loved when you were talking about being mama’ed by your mama. I completely understood that but I had never really thought about it. It was a great reminder for me to appreciate those wonderful things she does – even though she makes me bonkers at other times. ;). Thanks again sweet girl. Jo
Excellent!! And thank you for visiting at The White Stone. It is a pleasure to meet you here in Blog Land! Blessings!!
A pleasure to meet you too, and look forward to seeing more of your work 🙂 God bless x