“Home,” a simple four-letter word. Yet, the definition can be quite extensive. The first definition of home on Dictonary.com is as follows: A noun; the place where one lives permanently; especially as a member of a family or household. I fully acknowledge that the word “home” may have a negative connotation for some while it creates a warm, fuzzy feeling for others. If you have struggled with an unfortunate home life, please stick with me for a minute! For me, the meaning of home has evolved over the years.
I was born in Missouri. I had an awesome childhood on a 40-acre farm. My grandparents were all a 30-minute drive away. I had aunts, uncles, and cousins to visit. Holidays were packed with places and people. I had friends I thought would last a lifetime. But then, my world was rocked at 11 years old. I remember my mom explaining to me the need to move due to a job.
To keep things short, you are getting the “Cliffs Notes” version of my life from ages 11-13. The move from Missouri landed us in Kansas. While my childhood town wasn’t large, my graduating class in Kansas would have been 72 people! The town was tiny! We stayed for my seventh-grade year but then, again, we moved due to a job. The summer before my eighth-grade year, we landed in Indiana. This time, we stayed awhile. The town was approximately 8,000, and I graduated with more than 200 people. I met my high school sweetheart and went to college just a few miles away. I married my aforementioned high school sweetie and moved to the Indianapolis area. In case that was confusing, I lived in three different states my sixth, seventh, and eighth grade years!
I have spent many years since trying to find home again. As a kid, I thought my home was Missouri. Throughout my teens and college years, I felt my parents’ house in Indiana was my home. However, that home changed again, as my folks relocated back to Missouri. Even after getting married, living in a townhome, and eventually buying a house, I still struggled to feel “at home.” I always felt the most at home when I was with my parents and my two brothers. Since moving so young, and being far from all our family, we were often all we had. The five of us spent a lot of time together during the moves, meeting new people, discovering new schools and friends. We stuck up for each other when others viewed us as different for being “the new kid.” My immediate family is tight-knit, even now, though none of us live close together anymore.
As a kid, my physical surroundings may have been constantly changing, but what I eventually came to conclude is that home is a feeling. Now, despite not having the same ever-present four-walled home surrounding me, I still feel MOST at home spending time with the ones I love and at my church. When I feel homesick, I make sure to get in the physical presence of family and friends. Daily, I feed my soul and spiritual self with the Word of God and through my prayer life. Seeing my church family through weekend services, small groups, and activities is always cup-filling as well!
Furthermore, I have decided I have spent so many years fixated on my earthly home that I have missed out on the big picture. Philippians 3:20 (NIV) says, “Our citizenship is in Heaven.” When it all comes down to it, Jesus is my home. You all are familiar with the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.” Well, Jesus resides in my heart; therefore, while my spirit is living in my body, I am not yet home until Jesus calls me to leave this physical self behind and find my forever home in Heaven. This, friends, explains why I have never truly found my home here. My home simply isn’t on Earth. Why it took me so long to figure this out as an adult is beyond me!
For my readers who may have challenges regarding home life, emotional, and/or physical duress, I want you to know your “home” is Jesus! He loves you, and He is here (yes, even on Earth) for you! If you give Him your life, ask for His forgiveness, and walk in relationship with Him, your new home is the feeling you get when the God-shaped hole in your heart has been filled! A sense of peace will fill you, and faith will get you through the darkest of days. If you need help regarding how to take these steps, reach out to us at The Salty Sunshine! We have a prayer wall where you can let your needs be known. We can contact you, or you may choose to remain anonymous. We truly are here for you!
Even though I can’t see Jesus, I can feel Him in my heart, and that feeling of familiarity is comforting. When I stray far from His teachings and my relationship with Him, I feel far away from home. Proverbs 24:3-4 (ESV) says, “By WISDOM a house is built, and by UNDERSTANDING it is established; by KNOWLEDGE the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Understand? No part of the house described in the above Scripture is material in nature!
If you are feeling homesick, keep hope! You are home with Jesus, no matter where you physically reside!