I left the hub of activity and strolled the main street of our quaint seaside town. It had been a fast paced weekend with many festivities leading up to a breathtaking wedding. I was honored to have been an invited guest. The pause away from the bustle was nice, but as much as I wanted to pretend it was by choice, I understood that I walked alone not because I chose to disengage, but because it was time for me to go…I was not family.
Perhaps it was my mood or maybe it was God’s way of speaking to me, but while sauntering through one of the many gift shops, my eyes caught a simple white card with black font. It pierced my soul.
You are home to me.
As quickly as I reached for the card, the thought spoke, but who would you give it to? The warm feeling that exuded the verse only seconds before, suddenly touched cold; I had nobody to whom I could gift such beautiful words.
So what is home I thought to myself? What are the elements that make the word “home” something that we can find in another? It was belonging. Yes, to me home is a place that gives me a sense of being a part of something intimately treasured. It was sharing life freely — with abandon. It is being with someone who enjoys what I add to their life and doesn’t fear I will seek to change them or the place where we would exist together, because the thought of making changes that interweave our lives was exciting, not threatening.
And then the wave crashed over me…I was in a season of life where I didn’t have a sense of belonging — truly belonging — to anyone or anywhere. My children had been “home” to me for many years, but they were now grown and on their own. Although they loved me dearly and stayed very connected, we were no longer a part of each other’s daily lives. It was a good thing — life is meant to be this way.
I moved to this beautiful island to explore a new life. I did not want to limit myself by fear of change. After all, daring greatly is to know vulnerability and meet it face on, right? However, two years were nearly gone and although the experience has been rich in so many ways, I find myself in a void of sorts; I no longer belong to the community I left behind — or the community I sought to find.
Where did I go wrong? How do we give ourselves without losing ourselves?
I believe we are innately drawn to be in relationship with others — it is paramount to nurturing the soul. But I’ve also come to believe that relationships are often times not meant for a lifetime and we can find ourselves in relationship with someone we love and would like to call home, but for reasons of their own, we are not home to them. It is neither wrong for them to feel this way, nor is it wrong for us to mourn the hope we held. If this is true, is it then wrong to make ourselves vulnerable when we know that such probability exists? I hope not.
Life and love are not without risk. Perhaps both are simply a journey of belonging and unbelonging? Perhaps it’s not even about one or the other, but the experiences that lie between?
It may not be today, but I know there is a home for my heart and a heart that seeks home, in me. I bought the card.