It’s a bold heading, I know. But before you freak out, let me first explain my title of “home”less… Or shall I say the predicament I walked by faith into. I wasn’t homeless as in without a home, in fact I had many homes. 6 to be exact in a short period of time. Yet when you’re couch-hopping from place to place, “home” isn’t necessarily your definition of the four walls that have welcomed you in. It’s still uncomfortable meeting new faces every week, knowing it’ll only be a week before you say goodbye to them again. It’s emotionally vulnerable to talk about how you didn’t have enough money for rent so you just needed somewhere to stay until you had your feet on the ground again. Lastly, it’s so much weight, in every way possible. Sure you’re carrying your entire house in a suitcase, but you’re also carrying this burden that you’re making someone’s home a bit more inconvenient for them. This was the hardest thing for me. It wasn’t so much not knowing where I’d be the next week, it was the weight I carried on my heart of gratitude and also humility, coming into another home, not knowing when this journey would end.
Yet, this is what I learned through it all, and I can confidently say, I wouldn’t change a thing about this season.
1. Love everyone- the most unexpected people will shock you. You learn humility through this, and you grow such a deep love for humanity. People can tear down the frailty and brokenness of man so quickly, but how much quicker do we come together when one falls?
2. Kindness and generosity are the hands and feet of Jesus. There was a day that I came down to my last $5, and I couldn’t make it home by bus. But my friend, who is also college-student-money-deprived, handed me $20 to make it home and simply bless me. In desperate moments, God always comes through… But it’s usually through people. I want to live in a way where I can be someone else’s answered prayer, that their miracle can come true too.
3. The greatest battles are never around you. Yes my “GIANTS” were large, but I always knew God was greater. It was facing the doubters, the people I loved, the practical petitioners, that was my wildest war. I had to learn to stand on the Word of God and not their opinions, no matter how sincere their suggestions may have been… I knew His voice and I wrestled with its power when it stood on the opposing side of my loved ones. I was okay and graced for traveling, but seeing the doubt, the confusion, the worry in their eyes, killed me. My fight was to stand despite those who said to settle.
4. Stay true to Truth. When storms come, it’s hard to see anything clearly. They say without vision we perish, so we must fix our eyes on the unseen and remember who we’re walking towards when the waves come. We must be confident that His hand is outstretched to catch us if we fall. It’s called faith to walk not by sight. Some would call it crazy, some would call it brave. Living it out… 90% said crazy. But those who caught a glimpse of what Jesus was speaking to me on the waters were cheering me on as brave. I praise God for the 10% he gave vision to when I couldn’t see.
5. Church = H O M E. When it came down to everything in my world changing and falling apart, the church was still standing. It was my fortress in the beginning, but my home in the end. I knew that no matter what new house I was in, my family still waited to welcome me home at church. It was the one promised place where I could always be “me”.
6. Home cannot be bought. Some people see home as a retreat, a comfortable place… But it’s so much more than that. It has a spirit of welcome and freedom as soon as you walk in. It lifts off burdens and breathes life back into your heart. That is priceless. Families and people are either the carriers or barriers of this presence. I pray we all can value those we open our doors to, opening our hearts just as wide, that they do not feel like strangers, but sons and daughters, not coming to a house, but being welcomed home.
7. Keep Him first for you’re always first in His eyes. This crazy upside-down revelation is that in putting God first, He puts you first. In making church a top priority, you build His house while He builds yours. He continually surprises you with keeping His Word as you faithfully keep your own. It can’t be explained, but He makes himself known when you step out in trust. He is able to defy all odds, the odds others often bet against. In trusting Him, remember He is the God of the impossible, but also the Author of the best.
Soon, I will land. I will have a job again, I will have a permanent place, I will have space to create and call home- not by unpacking my belongings, but by unpacking my revelations. I’m thankful for the Church, for no matter where I go, it’ll be my number one home. Yet I pray I can bring this very atmosphere into the four walls of my heart, where those who come to me can be embraced by home, and be reminded of its warmth. That whether they have a four walled house, a four walled routine, a four walled business, a four walled cave, the true essence of home… Of the church…. Of Jesus…. May greet them at the door with this open heart of mine. That when we cross paths, I can be but one to say, “welcome home.”