Have you ever felt like you don't belong, or that you haven't experienced a place where your heart is fully at peace? It is something that I have been dealing with for a few years now, and I feel like this root problem can manifest itself in fear, anxiety, loneliness, and even depression or a darkness over your heart.
This feeling comes in and out of my life, and I think in some ways it will until I am ultimately home. I have moved around a lot in the last few years, and I really enjoy being single and "unsettled" or not tied down. Traveling has been a joy and I've met so many wonderful people. But with that being said, this lifestyle doesn't anchor the heart haha, so I've struggled to keep my heart steady when my life isn't. I think comparing what other people have with what I have is a problem that I have had to come to terms with as well. Just because my life doesn't look like the typical American 20 something, doesn't mean that it's wrong. So, I wanted to share with you what God has been teaching me about finding "home" here on earth.
In Exodus 33, God, through Moses had lead the Israelites out of Egypt, appointed priests, created the tabernacle and now they are setting forth to the promised land. Because of their continual rebellion, God told Moses that He would send an angel before them to drive out the other people that were currently occupying the promised land. He specifically told Moses that He would prepare the way, but He wouldn't go with them because He might destroy them along the way. I love Moses' response! He said, "If your presence doesn't go with us, then do not send us up from here." (verse 15). He knew that pioneering any further without God was a pointless journey, and because of his faithfulness and request, God gave him this promise:
"My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
This month, it's like God has sent one message after another for me to better understand how to find "home" for my heart, without having a physical home. It started when my mom and I went to a concert before I left for Romania. Lauren Daigle was there and talked about her nomadic lifestyle. It clicked then, that being a single musician was probably very similar to my lifestyle! I found a kindred sister and soaked up her wisdom. She said that her new song, This Girl, was written from a heaviness of heart from always being on the move and not feeling settled. I thought, "Hey, I feel like that all the time!". She then said that God taught her that she was to find her home in His heart and seek solace in His constant presence. This may be something that was head-knowledge for me, but it hit my heart like a ton of bricks! It was a reminder that God not only saw my hurt, but was inviting me to settle into who He is and make my home there.
The funny part, or maybe not so funny but more ironic because it could have ruined God's moment with me, was that during this song it started lightening (we were at an outdoor concert). So they made Lauren wrap the song up early and evacuate all of us. Thankfully, I was shaken enough that I was still in the zone when the concert started back up an hour and a half later. Lauren came out then and was barefoot saying that she had gone out and danced in the rain during the storm. My heart sang at those words! Again, how I longed to be so sure and comforted by my "home" that I rejoiced in the rain!
So a few weeks down the road, I was getting last minuet things ready for my trip to Romania, including making a Spotify playlist of encouraging music. As I was going through some of my favorite musicians, I heard the song, Tethered, by Phil Wickham. Now, I will say that I haven't heard a song by this man that isn't jaw dropping but, Tethered, is currently one of my favorites! I feel that he puts to words what my heart had been grappling with since the Lauren Daigle concert.
"What more could I desire, what greater thing to treasure. I'm convinced there's nothing better, than living in Your love. Caught up in the wonder of being in Your presence, of knowing such a friendship. To be with You, my God"
- Tethered by Phil Wickham
This song became my prayer and I sang it a lot! The more I chewed on this idea of home and feeling settled, the more encouragement God sent me. Once I got to Romania, I started a devotional by Michelle Cushatt, called I AM: A 60 Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is (I will do a book review of this one when I'm done, so far it has been amazing!). As I was reading through this book, sure enough I came across one about the stability of God. Here is what she said, "Home isn't a place. Home is Jesus and resting in who He is, right here."(Can I get an AMEN!?). I hear so often that "God is preparing a way for you" and "God is so far ahead of you" and the advice has left me feeling kind of empty. I think, like Moses, it's wonderful to know that I don't have to worry about the future, but that perspective was robbing me of the fact that He is also here, now. Like dancing in the rain, God is part of my today, where I am. We are supposed to be walking through life together, enjoying the little moments, making our home. He wants that with me and I've been resisting it, thinking that I wouldn't have that kind of companionship until I have a family. But God has been showing me that it's quite the opposite. He speaks joy into my heart in a way that only He knows how. Beautiful sunrises (and a week housesitting a friend's flat with the perfect view!), surprising friendships in a new country, opportunities that I never imagined, a watercolor journal from a friend, poetic music, and books full of wisdom. God knows what makes my heart sing and the times when I'm desperate for that relief, because His home is with me.
"Everything I am, God I throw into Your hands.
I just want my life to ever be intwined with You, tethered to Your heart.
I just want my soul to ever stand in awe of You, tethered to Your heart."
- Tethered by Phil Wickham
Home is becoming such a sweet word to me, now. It literally is making me smile as I write this. And not that I didn't love my home growing up! My parents made a wonderful home, but when I moved out, I didn't think I could have that again until I had a family of my own. However God is building in me a sense of joyful stability, because He provides the love and security that make a home. I may not know where my journey will lead me tomorrow, but I know where my heart is! It's home.
"The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." - Zephaniah 3:17
Praying you will feel at home wherever you are,