Monday, November 16, 2009

He’s My Home

We had just moved again. Tearfully saying goodbye to a beautiful season of ministry, I was propelled into another unwelcomed one. For the first time in my life, I was somewhere I didn’t want to be. I was hanging onto my calling to missions, but only loosely. My hand limp, I cried weakly, “God, I can’t do this. It’s too much, this missionary life; this inevitable, unstoppable series of moves from one place to another.”

In the darkest and loneliest season of my life, I wanted only one thing. I wanted to go home. Except we couldn’t. So my cries of inadequacy were quieted only when I sat down with my Bible. One day in that fleeting quietness, I reached Psalm 90: 1, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!” Tears streaming down my face, dotting the page, I could not move my eyes from that word. Home. It wasn’t a place 3,000 miles away, it was a person. It was Him.

Slowly over the course of the next few days, I was able to identify what home meant to me, release it and delight in the perfection of my new Home.

I started out by declaring that I wanted to live in the same house on the same street for the rest of my life. No more moves. No more suitcases. 

He gently corrected me.  What I really wanted wasn’t a white house on Main Street, but Him. “Child, the stability you crave is only found in me! I am the eternal, incorruptible Lord. I do not change! I’m the same yesterday, today and forever. I am your home.”

Then I explained that I wanted to be one of the belongers, to have my name written in the collective story, the shared history of a people. No more wondering how I fit. No more being an outsider.

He spoke back, “Have you forgotten? You are already one of the belongers. I chose you before the foundation of the earth. I wrote your name in the epic of the redeemed with My own Son’s blood. You’re not an outsider! You’re accepted in the Beloved and seated at My right hand forever. I am your home.”

Finally, I confessed my longing for deep, meaningful relationships. Friendships that would allow me to barge through the front door with barely a knock, plop down on the couch and tell my truth without fear. Ties unthreatened by the brokenness of my humanity, ties unadulterated by judgment. No more being weighed in the balance. No more exhausting guardedness.

This time He whispered. “Child,” he said, “this freedom to barge into an earthly den and be met with open arms? It’s only a shadow. I am the fulfillment, the One casting that shadow. You have free access to Me through the Spirit! I welcome you to pour out your heart boldly and frankly, though you are broken and naked and lacking. There is no condemnation for you at this throne. Only grace. I am your home.”

It’s been seven years (and as many moves) since the light of Home shined hope into that dark season of my life. Still, I have much to learn about this exchange of temporal for eternal, of seen for unseen, of the shadow for the fulfillment. How thankful I am that the Spirit faithfully directs me Home to the One who satisfies my every longing.

“That something we long for, whether it be an island in the west or the other side of a mountain or perhaps a schooner yacht, long for it in the belief that it will mean joy, which it never fully does, because what we are really longing for is God.” --Sheldon VanAuken, A Severe Mercy

17 comments:

Phyllis said...

Wow. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What a challenge...well timed, my friend! -Alisha

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, my friend. God is constantly using you to speak to me and teach me. Thank you for your willingness to be transparent and share that with all of us. Your blogs mean so much to me.
love, Candi

Becky said...

Oh Shilo,
I can imagine that this will be the cries of my heart in just a short time. THANK YOU for reminding me, once again, that He alone is my rock and my fortress... not that white picket fence that seems so elusive.

He is all we need!
Becky

Todd and Julie said...

Shilo,
Thank you for verbalizing what so many of us long for, whether living overseas or not...the sense of belonging, intimate friends, shared history, HOME. Your writing is lovely. Thank you for sharing your sufferings and the satisfaction only found in our beautiful Jesus! Love to you!

Becky Aguirre said...

Thank you for writing and posting your thoughts, it was very well-written! Gives me a lot to think about today... :)

Belinda C said...

thank-you for this! so well written...
and I have picked something else from your blog now too the "link within" thing! But now I find myself wanted to go and read back on my old posts...

jennykate77 said...

That is beautiful! God definitely uses you to speak to others.

Hope you are being blessed beyond measure!

hugs♥

Brenda said...

I don't know about you, but that is such a tenuous place to be. I find I am content, then lose it, then I am content and peaceful again. I always find a great deal of joy in every situation, but finding my home, my peace is something I have struggled with a little bit more.

Tim and Susan said...

I love that verse in Psalms too. It was the theme of one of my missionary talks...how I longed to live in the same home and not move, but like you said, God helped me hold that desire in an open hand and find contentment wherever He places us. I loved a quote from Amy Carmichael "God is our home".

Ana said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement and for opening your heart that way Shilo, you are such a blessing♥

sarah said...

Thank you for sharing your incredibly moment of realizing joy with us. I have felt what you mean in your post, and written about it, but haven't been able to share yet. Perhaps in time I shall, when the time is right. HE IS OUR HOME! He miraculously provides all we need, in his time.

TJ said...

We just moved last week so your post was timely. Thanks for sharing especially since I know we will have more moves in the years to come. I will be praying for you and your eye. May you see God's presence with your spiritual eyes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. I'm a missionary mom facing a move that is breaking our hearts, but it is for one of our children, so of course I am very glad to do it. But I have all those feelings of being fed up with moving (we've lived here just 10 months!), and to live somewhere beyond 2 years would be a dream come true. As we are considering where next?, I am glad to read your thougths which help me keep things in perspective.

Karen said...

I happened upon your blog today, by God's direction. You spoke my heart. I started to say I am not a missionary, but yes I am. I am a child of God, so therefore, I am. I started to say, I am not in a foreign country, but yes I am. This world is not my home. I have moved away from the place that I called home for 44 years. That moved happened 5 years ago. Your shared thoughts have given me the words to my feelings. Thank you for making me reach out to the Lord, to start resolving these hurts in my heart. IN HIM, Karen

Katherine said...

Hi Shilo! Thank you for sharing your heart and the things God is teaching you. I need the lesson of my home in Him. We have been in the Philippines for a year and I tried to suppress my desires to be home, to belong, to have a friend. But they come out at different times and I am truly truly grateful for the things you said in this blog. Thank you for this blessing. I thank God. Love you Shilo!

Trav n Renee said...

Dear Shilo,
The way you speak your heart encourages me so much! God has given you an amazing gift to communicate! When I read your thoughts, I feel like you are voicing my own thoughts! Thanks for being so welcoming as we arrived to our new "home" last year - I appreciate you! Abrazos! Renee

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