Home. What does that word mean to you?
When I think of the word home, I think of the place where I feel secure. The place where I am familiar with everything – the smells, the creak of that one floor board, the feel of the front doorknob – absolutely everything. Most of all, home is the place I will always belong.
I lived the first sixteen years of my life in breathtakingly beautiful Colorado, USA. My roots run deep in it’s rustic soil. Growing up, I knew there was no place I would rather live. I loved the simple, cowboy culture. The no-fuss way of life. I loved the yearly stock-shows, the afternoons by the riverside, the summers spent on the Royal Gorge Bridge and the winters spent on ski slopes.
I loved the mountains too. The rustic beauty of the Rockies never ceased to thrill my soul. I was sure that, this place God had planted me, must’ve been a glimpse into heaven.
So when I think of “home”, most days, my mind goes straight to a picture of jagged peaks reaching to the skies. That’s why, one day, as I was talking with mom, I absently doodled some snow-capped mountains and wrote in big letters, “home is where the mountains are.” That’s why sometimes I pin things to my Pinterest “Colorado” board and why my onliest sketch book is mostly mountains drawn with pastels.
Still, if I’m honest with myself, I know it isn’t Colorado, or mountains, I miss most of the time. What I miss is having a place that I know I will always belong.
Because, even though I was a hundred percent Colorado girl at one time in my life, I know I’m not now. I’m partly Coloradian and partly something else.
Thailand is a part of me too now. And living here has changed me in ways I doubt I would’ve changed if I still lived in my mountains. There are so many things I love about life here. And that’s why, I know if I were moving back to my childhood home my heart would break from leaving here.
And so this is where the restlessness comes in. I’m grappling to hang on to all of the worlds that are a part of me. I’m afraid of the future because there are so many uncertainties.
I remember what it felt like as a child to think, “I will always live in Colorado.” I read how the dictionary defines home as the place one lives permanently. I realize I don’t know where I will be a year or two from now.
My stomach ties in knots as I wonder, “will I ever have a home? Will I ever belong again? Please God, how do I go on like this?!”
Then one day, as I’m zooming down the highway on the back of a motorbike, I realize it takes surrender.
Surrender to give up my yearnings for a temporal home in order to fix my gaze on my eternal one. Surrender to realize that I really don’t need an earthly home because even now, as a pilgrim, Jesus offers all the rest my soul needs in Him.
“Jesus, home is wherever you are!” my heart whispers. Then, a burden lifts off my shoulders.
I belong to Him! I will ALWAYS belong to Him! Forever and ever… I belong!
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you r e s t .” -Matthew 11:28