When you think of home, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Maybe you see a warm sandy beach, towering mountains, or the city bustle. Or perhaps home for you is a kitchen filled with the sweet aroma of your mother’s cooking, the sound of children’s laughter, or the embrace of a loved one.
Home can look different for each of us. Yet if we compared them, I think we would find a thread of similarity strung throughout them all. Something like the feeling of familiarity, belonging, safety, and rest.
It is heartbreaking to consider how many in this world don’t have a home, how many people search and search and never find it. Maybe you are one of them. Perhaps home is a place you once knew but is now something that only exists in your memories. Or maybe home is a place you have never known.
What if I told you no matter who you are or what circumstances you find yourself in, there is a home for you? That place of belonging, of safety, of rest. Most humans understand the feeling of homesickness. For many, it is a reality we never leave. What I have discovered along my journey is that there is a home for everyone- our true home, and it can only be found through discovering a relationship with God.
My Story of Coming Home
Like many other young teenagers, at around age 15, I started to feel lost in this world. I was blessed to have grown up in a stable home with two loving parents and six other siblings, yet still, I felt alone. I started to become deeply aware of a growing sense of emptiness inside of myself. I did not understand it, only that it felt excruciating. I remember constantly seeking some sense of security in the people and circumstances around me. I felt like a small boat stranded in the big ocean of life, with no anchor and no land in sight. It was around that age that I began my search. For what, I did not know at the time. I just knew there was something I was looking for. Be it comfort, purpose, or answers to the questions that were taking root in the deep soil of my soul.
I did not know at the time, but what I was looking for was my God.
Fast forward five years later and I found myself sitting on an airplane, awaiting take-off, with a one-way ticket to South-East Asia in my hand. My search was taking me much farther than I’d ever anticipated. There was a determination inside of me that was only growing with each passing year, each passing moment. I wanted to understand. Understand who I was, why I was here, and what the true purpose of existence is. More than that, I was seeking the solution for this growing emptiness within myself. I knew, somewhere out there, were answers. Somewhere out there was relief from this pain. I just didn’t quite know where to find it.
Interestingly, I had grown up in a home centered on prayer, relationship with deity, and acknowledgment of our divine origin and eternal destiny, and yet, because I had not had my own personal encounter with deity, it was only words to me.
About a year and a half into my travels and studies, I finally reached my breaking point. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had many up until this point. But this was the real one, The Breaking Point of Breaking Points.
It took me to my knees, a place I hadn’t been since a young child. It happened on a particularly cold night in December, shortly after a lonely Christmas in the very northern mountains of Thailand. Circumstances lined up in such a way to allow me to arrive fully at the realization that I was incapable of healing my wounded soul myself. Not only that, but I didn’t want to do it alone anymore. I needed help. I needed my God.
The neediness I felt inside of myself broke my heart and cracked me wide open, or at least cracked me open just enough for something real to pour into me. I collapsed into the naked reality of my vulnerable human nature. I wept and wept and pleaded for help that I did not feel I deserved. I made up my mind that night that if there was a God, I was going to discover him.
Do you know the beautiful thing about God?
He wants nothing more than to be discovered. He is always knocking at the door of our hearts, patiently waiting on us to open up and receive him.
That night I came home. Home in a way I had never known it. I could write a whole book on just this night, but perhaps that is for another time. To put it simply, after many hours of screaming out for an answer, it finally came. All of my pain, all of my self-rejection, all of my fear and doubt and emptiness was suddenly swallowed up in something so much greater than any of it. Peace. Peace like I had never known it. I knew in an instant it was Him, and in him, all of the answers I had been searching for. I didn’t know much, but I knew this: I have a creator, and he hears and loves me. I am his precious child. I came here to discover him. Not just to discover him, but to find my way back home to him.
I had not experienced a true encounter with God up until that night in the mountains of Thailand, yet I found the experience to be curiously drenched in nostalgia, like coming home to a place I had always known. What I discovered is that I didn’t need to go anywhere to find it. It was always here. He was always here, loving me, waiting for me to remember him and receive his love.
That is what we are doing here, all of us. We are finding our way back home. It is a messy, sometimes painful journey, but a beautiful one. Especially when we learn how to walk it together. As we each individually go on the journey of discovering our true divine identity, we can point the way to others. We can remember that we are all one big family, and therefore we can also come home to each other.
God’s whole purpose is to bring his children back home to him. To the place of safety, love, and belonging. He is eager to reveal himself to those who seek him.
Coming home to God is coming home to yourself
When we remember our true identity as children of a divine creator, it reconnects us to our place of origin- our true home. As we anchor into that place we can walk through this world from a place of inner security, no longer relying on the outside world to be that for us. We become less easily disturbed by outside circumstances because nothing that happens out there can change what we know inside- that we are in the hands of the Creator of the Universe who loves and knows us perfectly and is guiding us steadily back home to him.
As we come home to God and remember this identity, we can more fully come home to ourselves. As we do, we can become a taste of home for others by imbuing that essence of safety and security within ourselves. This quality of being allows space for those around to relax and settle and creates an opportunity to point the way back home to each other.
This is the journey we are all taking, individually, and together as the human family. This is what it is to walk each other back home. We are remembering who we are as we remember the one who created us. It does not matter where you have been, or what you have or have not done, there is one who knows and loves you perfectly, who is waiting for you to come back home to the place where you belong, in the safety of his loving embrace.