Homesick

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. 

desire-for-another-world-c-s-lewis

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

There’s No Place Like Home

Dominic’s Heaven Day fell right in the middle of Holy Week this year-Wednesday, April 12th marked three years since he entered Heaven and left us here.

And every day since then I’ve been homesick.  Homesick for what I used to know and homesick for what I know awaits me when I join him there.

IMG_1795I can’t say that I handled this awful anniversary any better than the previous two but I did handle it differently.  This year I was determined to create space for both mourning and dancing.

I cried a lot from Palm Sunday through his Heaven Day and into Resurrection Sunday morning.  I found new wounds that needed attention and realized some old ones weren’t as patched up as I thought.

It was costly in terms of personal and relational energy but for the first time since Dom ran ahead to heaven, I was able to reclaim a holiday gathering.

And it was beautiful.

photo (40)I missed him, of course, but things flowed and people loved one another and ministry happened and laughs floated through the air.

Everyone left with extra food and smiles on their faces.

This used to be my house every holiday, almost every Sunday.  It hasn’t been that way since Dom left.

But for a few hours it felt like home again.

i-have-come-home-at-last-c-s-lewis

 

Repost: We Are Not Home Yet

substance

 

This past week has been brutal in many ways.  

Some of us are fearful.  Some of us are hopeful.  Some of us just want it all to go away.

For me, it’s yet another reminder that We are Not Home Yet.

 

Homesick

desire-for-another-world-c-s-lewis

Forty years!  

Forty years Israel wandered in the desert, unable to claim the promise given them through Moses.

Forty years forbidden to set foot across the Jordan and partake of the bounty that lay on the other side.

Forty years of death as the rebellious ones were laid to rest because of their rebellion.

I bet they got tired of traveling.  I bet they were weary of moving on.  I bet they wondered (even though they had sure knowledge) just when this would be over.

And all that time, even in the midst of their heartsick longing to go back, have a do-over, make it right and the heavy weight of knowing, knowing, knowing there would be no going back, the LORD was in their midst-a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night-He was there.

I understand completely.  

Sundown yesterday began the  Feast of Tabernacles for Jews around the world.  It’s a seven day period to celebrate God’s faithfulness in the wilderness and to remember that this world is not our home.

Feast of Tabernacles Transp.png

I think it is a beautiful tradition and a wonderful way to speak truth to our hearts.

Because it’s easy to forget.  

Unless something happens that sharpens the homesick longing that lies latent in all our hearts, it’s easy to get comfortable here. Life seems pretty good-we gather our people and our stuff around us and think, “I could stay here forever.”

But no one stays here forever. 

This world is not my home.  

It never has been.

And I am tired of traveling.  I am tired of moving on.  I wonder just when this is going to be over.

But even here, God is in the midst of it.  

Emmanuel-God With Us-is near.

Jehovah-Shalom-The LORD My Peace-is speaking peace that passes understanding to my weary spirit.

I was created for a place where love and light reign and sickness and death cannot enter.

I feel it every day.  

“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