There are a few questions in life that I have asked myself more than all other questions: Who am I? Why do I feel so different from others? Where do I belong? Where is my home?
When I was thinking about these questions it brought to mind a specific period in my life.
My kind of people
As a young, divorced mother of 2 girls I stood at the schoolyard daily, looking at all the other parents waiting to take their children home after a long day at school. I saw these small groups of moms, standing together, chatting, laughing, sharing experiences. I had a strange mixture of emotions. I didn’t feel attracted to any of these ladies, since they had a different way of speaking, different priorities in life, different interests, but … I also was a bit jealous. I wanted to belong to a group like they were in, but I didn’t want to belong to their specific group. I tried sometimes to mingle in, but that didn’t work out too well. I just didn’t belong there.
After a few months of being there more or less on my own, there was a new mother at the schoolyard. We started talking and she told me she felt so different from all the people at the schoolyard. This sounded familiar, I knew she was ‘someone like me’. We became friends and had our own little group.
This was about the same period I started diving into all kinds of self-help books and spiritual, New Age teachings. I became interested in eastern philosophies and I participated in a Reiki training. I met people who were, just like me, openly searching for answers to the important questions in life. This created a bond. I could speak with likeminded people about ‘the important things’ in life, from the same perspective. It was refreshing, fulfilling, and it made me hungry for more.
Over the course of 25 years I participated in many, many other trainings, workshops and groups and I loved being around likeminded people. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. While I met likeminded people, who were interested in learning the same concepts or practices, I often still felt ‘out of place’. There was still that feeling of ‘not completely belonging’. I still felt disconnected from others often.
This disconnectedness showed itself in other forms as well. In my relationships with others I often felt that I wasn’t good enough in loving and connecting. I often felt alone, different and sometimes even indifferent.
Through experiences like this, I learned that we all have this desire to belong to a bigger community. Nobody I know likes to be lonely and to be separated from others. I learned that everyone has the desire to be with people that are like them: the same ideologies, the same hobbies, the same musical tastes, the same life situation or the same religion. This gives a feeling of being at home, being in the right place.
A house or a home?
Along with this desire to be part of a group and feel at home in a group of people, I struggled with something else. I felt different from others because I didn’t have a place that felt like ‘my home’. Don’t get me wrong, during my life, I’ve changed houses 17 times, and the houses I lived in were always nice and comfortable. I decorated them in a personal way and tried to make them feel as cozy as possible. However, there was this feeling deep down inside of me that all these places were just temporal and in a way ‘unimportant’, I didn’t feel attached to them at all. If I was travelling, I felt as ‘at home’ in an Airbnb or guesthouse, as I felt in my own house. I found this quite confusing.
Most people I know find their homes pretty important. They put a lot of time, money and energy in finding exactly right place to live. Then they do the decoration and renovation to make their homes as perfect as possible. Their house keeps them busy, year after year. I started to feel weird that I didn’t have this ‘home-thing’. Again I felt like an outsider.
Longing to be home
Over the past 10 years the longing to be at home grew more and more. I wanted to find my HOME, to find the place where I belong and the people I belong to. I attended seminars and trainings that promised me to find my way home. This sounded attractive but what most of the time was taught was ‘how to come home in yourself’. I had already done so much soul-searching, and I had looked into myself so often. I had read so many self-help books …. and I still didn’t feel at home. In me the conviction grew that ‘being home’ had nothing to do with my house or my feelings or my self-knowledge or self-esteem. I knew home wasn’t somewhere inside of me.
Fast forward to last year, the year I found Christ. I dove into the Bible, where I learned about Jesus, about His people, His commandments and the fruits of His Spirit. I learned about hope and God’s promises and about the heavenly place where Jesus sits at the right hand of His Father. I was praying and reading, having the Holy Spirit as my Helper. I tried to implement all the things that I learned in my own life. I didn’t look much ahead, towards the future; all that counted was living a life of obedience today.
Ah … this is HOME!
And then, all of a sudden it struck me when I read
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you”. (1 Peter 5:10)
The Holy Spirit showed me HOME, in a way I could finally understand and relate to.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 3:20)
God spoke about going HOME, coming home to Him. He showed me that heaven is the place where my soul longs to be. Heaven is where I finally will feel at home completely and I will be together with people who loved, served and obeyed Christ like I did.
Then God showed me more about going home ….
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (John 14:23)
I realized that being in the unseen presence of Jesus is being home already. Being in Christ is being home. Today it is not yet a physical place, but it still is home! In this life I don’t have to look for a physical place or a specific group of people anymore. Home is the place where I am now, in union with Christ.
After this life I’ll will go to the place I have been looking for for decades, I then will be together with Jesus in my eternal HOME, in Heaven. This is still hard to really grasp, as a former New Ager, but I know that it is true. The Holy Spirit spoke this Truth right into my heart and filled my heart with great joy! I finally don’t have to search anymore, I now know my home!
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens … Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. (2 Cor 5: 1, 5-7)