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Coming Home

I didn’t even realize I missed it until I got out of the car. It wasn’t an overwhelming of emotion due to remembrance…we were at a random rest stop. I stepped out of the car and just stood there and took in the humidity, smells, and songs of the cicadas that filled the air.  My senses where overwhelmed by the very essence of the Midwest, and I felt at home.

There was a sense of comfort and familiarity that filled me. You never forget where you were raised. It’s not just the physical structures that represent our “homes”… it’s the feeling, the smells, and the sounds. To me, summer sounds like the cicadas. It used to seem like the humidity that pressed around us was directly tied to the cicada’s song. I didn’t realize until I heard it that you don’t really hear the cicadas sing in Colorado, at least not where I live.

I can’t really say that I was even missing this, not cognitively.  I miss the people of home, yes. I miss the feeling of security that comes from living in a town and place that you know and are used to.  I even have been recognizing that much of my feelings of insecurity and anxiety are really based on the fact that I am living outside of my comfort zone, relationally. So I wasn’t prepared for the rush of emotions that welled-up inside me at just the smells, feel, and sounds of “home.”

I’ve needed to come home. I’ve been struggling a bit at my current place. I always get so weird whenever I’m in that “getting to know you” stage with other people. I’m realizing more and more how socially sheltered my family was growing up. You add to that all the bullying and social isolation that was the norm for me from 4th-10th grade… and I guess it’s pretty understandable. But it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  The more I live in this intentional community, the more that I am seeing things about myself that are hard to deal with. I’m realizing how self-centered I am, and how much I talk about myself. I am realizing how bad I am at really listening to and empathizing with others. All the things that I hated about myself in high school, and swore I’d change in college… still there, still a part of me. I’m seeing in myself all this unnecessary and annoying neediness and all these things about myself that I can’t stand. I’m missing being around people who already know this about me.

I also feel as though I’m coming across as one of “those” girls… the ones that take reality and twist it to make themselves get more attention; the ones that take on the identities of others and claim them as their own. I hesitate to share and regret sharing some of my own story for this reason. Who’s going to believe it? Who is going to take it as anything even resembling the truth? From what I’ve heard of the others, it’d be easy to see my story as simply nothing more than the conglomeration of the stories of others, just combined in a way that is more dramatic and possibly sympathy inducing.  It’s not. But with my ever-present awkwardness and inability to be comfortable around someone until I have known them for quite awhile, it’d be easy to read me this way. I’m annoying myself, so I can just imagine what my housemates must think.   This absolutely terrifies me.

All of this just makes me feel anxious, afraid, and so insecure. I want to hide, to stay away from others. Maybe this week, this homecoming will be good for me.  I need to spend some time in the woods, sitting on the Bridge centering myself. I need to feel the security and peace that home brings to me.  I want to spend some quality time with Dad and Grandma, loving on them. As selfish as it is, I need to have them speak confidence and love into my life. Mostly? I need to feel as though I make sense, and that I’m not crazy and awkward always.  I need to fill myself up with all the love, support, and definition that make up that sense of “home” within us all.

Home is such an essential part of who we are and how we define ourselves.  Where we come from and what we’ve gone through… how we come to grips with these hugely defines who we choose to become. I need to settle this within myself, as I am coming up to a year that is going to be tough and challenging. I don’t want to be crushed under all my insecurities… I want to be able to minister effectively. 

The truth is…maybe I rely more than I realize on certain people to bring the feeling of home into my life. My true sense of home shouldn’t be wrapped in places, peoples, and denominations. God should be my home. I want Him to be. I don’t want to have to go through this every time I move to a new place in life. I want to be able to transition quickly, so that I don’t miss opportunities to be used to help others. How many relationships with some pretty incredible people have I missed as I’ve silently gone crazy, dealing with my inability to ground myself?

Coming home.  Oh Lord, how I need to come Home. I’m praying that coming back to the physical and relational places that represent home to me… that through this week, God will be able to speak home into me. That I will return ready for what this year has in store. Who knows? Maybe God will use my feelings of insecurity and just wanting to be loved and known to help me be able to see that in the people I come in contact with… to help direct me as to how I can really help them.  I’m so hoping that all this crazy inside of me won’t keep me from being able to truly connect with the crazy awesome people God’s shoved me into a house with.

………..

I don’t know what will happen this week, and what God will show me. He’s starting something in me, and a feel as though it’s something that He’ll be continuing to work out inside me throughout the coming year. Maybe I’ll find healing. Maybe I’ll finally figure out how to really connect and be in relationship with other people. Maybe I’ll be drawn deeper into God. Hopefully, I’ll learn how to find and keep a sense of Home that stays with me no matter where I go… a sense of security that wraps itself around my heart and keeps me grounded, always. A true Home.

“I saw your face across the street, and my heart was home again.” JG

“Home is wherever I’m with you.” ESatMZ

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