This Is Not My Home

I remember as a little kid, I always had this deep feeling on the inside, as I played next to our terrible 90s design living room couch, that I was not at home. This feeling and thought persisted and revealed itself at random times. I look back and think either I had repeated existential crisis, was oddly philosophical for my age, or God’s glory was bleeding through the fabric of my life and touching my heart as I played in solitude alone with my childish thoughts.

In the present, I find myself in a situation where I must pack up, move to a place and establish myself and just as the roots form I must rip them out and proceed to place them back in the soil where they were in the previous spot, and back and forth. I go back to my original home in the summer and then I must go back to my other home as the summer find its end. It has not been bad until this year when I really began to get reconnected in my hometown because of a personal family crisis. I began to feel the roots of my security growing and taking root in the old and familiar soil when in previous years visiting home I had not let them do so. Strings on my heart began to reattach more firmly to my family and friends (stri1148969_619378254823776_482543270_nngs tied from rib to rib) that I had known for years and I began to find it harder to leave. At the same time, I felt as if returning to my second home where I had attended college for two years would be just as refreshing as it was the first time that I returned after my first summer away from it.

It was not so when I returned.

Not only did I began to ache for the old place my roots had become attached to; but, I did not feel refreshed, or much excited about returning to that environment where I had begun to build my identity as an independent adult.  Instead, I am far removed from any place. It feels as if I am floating in some vacant space in my mind. Like an awkward tree floating in the air with its roots dangling and unattached and insecure (awkward visuals FTW). The point is, I did not feel satisfied at home or my second home.

It was then I realized that I cannot find any security or comfort or even a sustained excitement for any one situation or circumstance. My place to live in is only temporary and I cannot get too comfortable in any place nor can I expect security based on my situation. I felt like I had a better grasp on this concept as a kid. As children, we are definitely innocent, but also we are new in the world. When everything that we see next is new, and we are fascinated at every turn, restlessness and mediocrity don’t really have any place. However, as we get older, and get comfortable and things are not new anymore, mediocrity creeps in. As does lack of wonder. We get comfortable where we are, and began to take root where we are and define ourselves by our circumstances.

Growing up in the same city my whole life and then uprooting to my now second home, I had never really experienced the torn feeling of having two places where I had grown roots and where I had left parts of me. I also did not realize the restlessness that it would bring. When I came back this semester I was hit not with the excited feeling of coming to my second home, but instead I was hit with disappointment. No longer did I feel a sense of wonder of excitement or fulfillment from this newer home. I then began to hear the Lord speak to me as I felt a sense of restlessness rack my being.

I heard him say, “Your home is in me. Your identity and security is in Me.”

This is not my home. How many times do I need to be reminded of this?  I expected fulfillment from an earthly home.

I have been looking into the book of Ephesians lately and in chapter 2, there is talk about following along with the desires and cravings of this world. I know when I read this, I always think about obvious sexual or materialistic desires. But isn’t another pattern of this world trying to make one’s self as comfortable as possible so the path to death would be smoother? In verse 5 and 6 of chapter 2 it says that we were made ALIVE in Christ and that our place is with him in heavenly realms.

It is easy to forget God when you are comfortable. It is harder to live without God when you cannot feel completely secure wherever you live. The overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction I got with my circumstance brought me back to the feet of my Savior in repentance for finding security and comfort in something other than him. I cannot hold on tightly to anything or any place other than holding on to Jesus and knowing my place in his Kingdom in eternity.

-Bethany Porter