It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Our family had intentionally gone to church early that morning so we could head out into the beautiful Colorado Mountains and explore what God had for us. The sky had my favorite wispy clouds streaked through them. The sun was warm on our back as we climbed and yes, there was even the sound of birds talking to each other. All felt right in my world and I hummed an unknown tune as I walked ahead of my husband and children.
Occasionally, the Father allows me days like this, where I am completely carefree and I just enjoy his creation. A time of restoration in my soul and body. Most times, he uses these hikes to awaken something deeper in me, and this Sunday was no exception. As I walked, I picked up a brief smell of wood smoke. I inhaled deeply, allowing it to stir memories of campfires and wood stoves. Cool fall days with soccer games and hot cider after around the fire. Soon the rich smell of Pine invaded my senses. It pricked new areas of my brain and I was drawn more into an emotion of longing. I became hyper aware of my body and its feelings as I walked forward. I could feel the crunch of decaying leaves under my shoes; hear the rustle of the wind as it gently blew through the bare trees.
Then it happened, tears began to pour down my face and longing for home stirred in me so deep, I was afraid I would not be able to go on.
I stopped and sat on a rock nearby, knowing my children were playing some sort of Indian survivor game nearby. My husband came over and asked me what was wrong. I looked at him and shrugged.
“I don’t know, I said. All I know is I am so homesick right now I don’t even know what to do with it. Not only that, I don’t even know what home is or where home is.”
He sat beside me and just held me. I was so confused. How could I feel homesick, yet have no destination in mind? Homesick for what or who or where? I tried to conjure an image in my brain of what I was looking for, but nothing came to me. No images of my childhood home eased the ache. All I knew was this hike had created desperation in me for Home.
Life had not been easy for my husband and I in the years before this. We had moved twice in three years to different cities which of course created a lot of pain and stress. We had a business fail and nearly lost our house before the move. We also were raising an adopted son with severe emotional issues that often left both of us exhausted to the point of hopelessness. Yet, we had found a way, through the Father’s strength to keep going and fighting through the hard season. We felt with our most recent move that we were finally making headway in life, that maybe things might shift in all areas for the good in the next year. We were still exhausted but finally hopeful. Hope that this city would have the right therapists and doctors to help our son and that my husband’s work would be fulfilling. This move had to hold the answers.
That day, when the feelings of intense homesickness overtook me, I was surprised. What was this deep cavern of pain welling up in me? What had all those smells and sounds triggered? And again, I asked “what is home?” I sat there for a while, asking God to reveal to me what all this was about and then I felt the Spirit speak.
Home is not a location or building, it is not even being with my husband and kids. The longing I felt stirred that day was the hope and desire for renewal. The renewal of all things. I realized I was longing for Heaven and to sit on my Daddy’s lap there. To breathe the air in my new body. No pain, no stress, no noise, no longings. For all things to be fulfilled and renewed. I realized, I want to go home to Heaven.
The Father’s love enveloped me as I meditated on this new idea. He was drawing me into his heart and I felt him saying, “This is good Christy. Don’t forget that you are mine and all this is temporary. Someday I will amaze you with what I have in store for your eternity. Don’t take your eyes off me!”
Home is where the heart is and I was reminded on that beautiful, sunny Colorado day that my heart needed to shift back to my Father. To put my hope and love in him because he is the answer to all my homesickness.
Christy Barber lives in Monument, Colorado with her adventuresome husband and two children. She pursues her heart by writing music, poems and creating whenever time allows. She wants to inspire hope through her own stories of struggle and journey with Jesus.