My family and I have been collecting sayings about home.
Here are a few:
Where the WIFI connects automatically
Where the suitcase is
Where my dog is
Where your story begins
Where you unpack your suitcase
Where you know where the dishes go
My kids have strong opinions about which ones of those are accurate. As a person living in two different worlds, I have often thought that home is where my husband and kids are. Home has been Thailand for the last 14 years. But now that half of my kids are on the opposite side of the world from me, I am struggling with the thought of where my home is.
This past year has been a challenge for many of us. It has kept us home and isolated more than we wanted. For us in Thailand, it has slowed down our ministry. It kept us away from our daughters in the US for many months. And for me, it has made me think about where my home is. I wanted to be with my girls so badly and I couldn’t. I felt trapped in Thailand. Then God kindly allowed us to go to the US for the summer and be with them and it was such a gift. But returning to Thailand was harder for me than it has been before. I always used to think that I was returning “home.” But after leaving half of my heart in the US, I was conflicted. Maybe I even felt a little guilty saying I was going “home” while leaving my girls behind.
This thought of home is such an interesting idea to think about. We recently landed in Bangkok and Matt said “Welcome home.” I had no response. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. Think about all of the places we see or hear the word “home.” We recently watched the cartoon called “Home.” If you google songs about home, the list is endless. It seems that we, as humans, are obsessed with home. Making our home feel “homey.” Make yourself at home. And of course there are the unforgettable worlds from Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz “There’s no place like home.”
The Bible actually talks about home a lot. But one of my favorite passages about home is Psalm 84. You know when the Lord is teaching you something and you keep seeing the same passage over and over? That is Psalm 84 for me recently. The beginning of the chapter talks about how he is longing to be in God’s house. You know that feeling when you walk into a house, maybe your house from childhood, or maybe visiting a friend who has a really beautiful and cozy home or maybe your own home and you smile and sigh because it’s such a great place to be. I imagine that is what the Psalmist is saying about how beautiful God’s house is. He longs to be there. He says anyone who gets to be in God’s house is blessed. He says those people find their strength in God. Verse 6 talks about the Valley of Baca which means the Valley of Tears. How many of us have been in that valley recently? But in God’s strength, the Valley of Tears becomes a place of refreshment. How amazing is that? Verse 3 talks about how even the birds find a home in God’s house. That is a beautiful reminder.
So what does this passage remind me about home? God is home. Wherever He is, is home for me. Or maybe on a more practical level for me right now, wherever God wants me to be right now is home. I realized in the last few days, that I must choose to be at home where God wants me to be right now. Surrender, again. (Sound familiar?) Wherever he is, is home. What a comforting thought for me. I’m home.