I remember the first time I felt homesick.
I had been away from home before but never without the company of someone I knew well and loved.
This time was different-I was at a sleepover camp populated with strangers. Kind strangers, yes, but not a familiar face among the crowd.
It had sounded like a great idea when I signed up. So much to do and see: horses to pet and ride, crafts to be made, campfires to sit around and cook over.
But I soon found that no amount of excitement or distraction could undo the feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was not where I should be. It was all just a bit “off”. Everything was slightly skewed. I never got comfortable enough there to truly enjoy myself.
Instead, I kind of simply endured.
Since Dominic left for Heaven, more than a few days have been spent with that same feeling in the pit of my stomach. Although I am (very often) surrounded by people I know and love, I still can’t shake the sense that things aren’t quite “right”.
Of course I’m perfectly aware that part of the feeling is generated by Dominic’s absence.
But there’s more to it than that.
I know the Bible teaches that this world is not our home.
Still, I think most of us get so comfortable here that we forget.
I know I had.
As my family grew in number and years, I was able to bring “home” with me wherever I went. Together, we created a bubble of love and companionship. It seemed nearly perfect-until one of us left suddenly and unexpectedly.
Immediately, Heaven as my true home become so much dearer to me.
I know that the correct “Sunday School” answer is that I’ve always longed to see Jesus.
But if I’m honest-and I try very hard to be honest here-as long as my family was intact, Heaven could wait.
It took the life-altering, heart breaking reality of child loss for me to recognize that this world is NOT my home. No matter how beautiful, wonderful and fulfilling my life on earth may be, it’s never going to be free of hardship and heartache.
I am homesick-utterly, inconsolably homesick.
So I point my face to the east-just as Dominic and other saints whose bodies await the resurrection face east-and look forward to that Glorious Day when Jesus will return and make every thing that’s wrong. right.
I admit that my homesick heart won’t ever be satisfied in this world.
And I lean in and hold on to the hope I have in Christ-trusting Him to redeem and restore.
I began to try to define the pain I felt. Yes, it was sorrow, but it was something more, something infinitely deeper. I felt it all the time, even when I was happy. It wasn’t just sorrow. It was a longing; a pining for a better place and time … no, not just a better place and time, a perfect place and time; a different reality. It felt like longing for home, but not for a home I had ever been to. I began to see that it was something like homesickness …. Perhaps Christians are the most consistently homesick people in the world because they know this world (as it is) isn’t their true home. Yes, I was home, but I was still homesick.
~Elyse Fitzpatrick, Home