While I had the idea for this post only days after returning from our big European Adventure, I was loathe to start writing it because I was worried it sounded too much like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz (although I do have a lovely pair of Italian red shoes!)
As a result, no other post was forthcoming, no matter how hard I tried. So I’ve finally relented and have written what was placed on my heart two weeks ago!
I don’t for one second regret the opportunity we had to travel and explore countries on the other side of the world. The experiences we had were a real blessing and we had some life lessons we couldn’t have imagined. I do, however, find myself so much more grateful to be home.
The excitement of being back in our familiar surroundings started to build for me before we even began our return flights. We were away for 42 days, which is 6 and a half weeks of living out of suitcases and having to navigate places and practices we weren’t used to. The feeling of relief to hear Australian accents everywhere was great, and knowing with certainty what we would receive when we ordered something in restaurants was such a relief. And don’t even get me started on the coffee!!
Nothing can really compare to that first night back in your own bed. That familiar feeling that helps you relax more fully can not be found in even the most luxurious hotel room. All the items in the kitchen are in the right place and the light switches are where I’m used to them being. In fact, everything is as it should be.
Returning to our church families has also been something that draws attention to the familiar. While we experienced a joy and blessing from other worshipping congregations, it was so nice to be back with those we know and love.
This phenomenon has caused me to consider where our ‘home’ spaces are in life. What are the elements that make something feel like home? Is it stuff? Is it people? Is it environment? Is it a combination of these things and more?
They say ‘home is where the heart is’ and while I am fully aware that I have left a part of my heart in some of the locations we visited on our holiday, the biggest part of my heart remained here. I love where I live because it is where God has placed me to be. He called me to be in full time ministry for Him with The Salvation Army and for this moment in time it means home is here, in regional Australia.
Ideally, home is where you feel safe, and comfortable, and most able to be your authentic self. You can wear your most relaxed outfits without judgement or scrutiny. You can be free.
With God I can feel safe and comfortable and able to be my most authentic self. I can feel accepted and welcomed and free. It’s an amazing feeling to sense you are home after a long journey, whether that is a physical or metaphorical one.
So if you’ve wandered away from God and are not sure what I’m talking about I really want you to know that there is no place like home. Can I encourage you to make sure you find your way back before too long?