The Hope for Home

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

It’s the fifth Christmas without my husband, and the tree is up and decorated. It’s an artificial one, unlike the trees we selected at the cut-it-yourself tree farms over the span of our marriage. There are so many details left undone that are making the second Christmas in my new-ish town home feel like it’s not really home.


You see, lately I have had profound feelings of being at loose ends… of not being connected… of my condo not feeling like home. Home was where my late husband and I lived, and I don’t live there anymore.


Since his death, I have been searching for Home. Don’t get me wrong...I have a place to live. My things are there. Family photos are scattered about on walls and shelves. Items of importance and practicality have their places in my dwelling. Friends and family come over, and we have wonderful times together. But it’s not enough.


What I lack is a place to call Home.


For me, Home is the spot where I feel settled and content. It’s the place where family and friends gather; where the traditions of the past may continue when we get together.


Last summer I sold our home of thirteen years. My parents sold their home of thirty-five years. It felt as if Home had slipped through my fingers much like sand on the beach. It seemed the traditions we made in these places had also slipped away when the homes were no longer ours.


Ever since, I have been searching for the feeling of Home that continues to elude me. Home is the place that allows me to be myself. Where I can look at my roots while dreaming of hopes for the future.


Putting down roots is so very important, and I have been trying to do so in my new place. Without the tangible spaces that were the backdrop of so many important moments in my life, it is sometimes challenging to feel at Home in my own condo.

So I look elsewhere for this feeling of connection. Seek out other avenues where I may meet people who might be able to help me make my house a Home. And I don’t find it.


In all the places I have searched, I discover that none of them are Home. At first I thought it was because my late husband was not there. Then I realized it was because I was not really there.


Home, it seems, is the place where I am. The place where I can really be me. Am able to rediscover myself and the things and people that bring me joy.


It’s not an easy road to travel to get to the Home of myself. So I don’t go alone. At first I sought out other people, only to discover they could not get me there.


So instead, I seek guidance from God through prayer and contemplation. The Creator guides me back toward Home. Invites me to seek out meaningful experiences as I provide faith-filled service to others. Shows me the Home that already exists in the family and friendships that have sustained me over these past years.


It is the Creator who fills me with the hope as I place my trust in the One who can guide me toward finding the Home I so long for.


The Psalmist in Chapter 25: 4-10 reminds me of how God wants me to invite God along as I do this journey toward Home:

Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth—teach it to

me—because You are the God who saves me. I put my hope in you all day long. Lord,

remember your compassion and faithful love- they are forever! But don’t remember the sins of

my youth or my wrongdoing. Remember me only according to your faithful love for the sake

of your goodness, Lord. For God guides the weak to justice, teaching them God’s way. All

the Lord’s paths are loving and faithful.


Because of the Creator’s never-ending presence, I am able to continue my journey toward Home. It is the Creator who sends the right people to accompany me along the route. This fills me with hope and peace, and allows me to get back on track when I get distracted along the way.


FOR FURTHER THOUGHT

The poem “Home” was written before this blog. It’s inspiration came from the feelings of unease that have plagued me these past few years. While I continue to feel at loose ends some of the time, when I remember to go back Home to myself, the tension subsides and hope pours into the spaces of my heart. I pray You will find Home within yourself, as well.


Home

A Poem by Jenny Seylar


There are many versions

Of home to be found

In this vast world;

None so inviting,

None so welcoming,

None so intimate

As Home within myself.


My inner Home

Is the most familiar

Of places I can go,

And it is also the hardest

Journey in which to traverse.


The roads to myself are

Rocky and winding,

Up hill and down,

Stormy and calm.


Just when I think

I have nearly arrived Home,

A detour blocks my way

And I find myself

Wandering aimlessly

In uncharted territory.


Try as I might,

To return to the main road,

Distraction steers

Me further off course.

I discover landmarks,

And people,

And situations

That continue to

Entice me further

Off course.


It is lonely

Traveling back to myself,

And so I stop along the way,

At the wayside rests.

Searching for,

longing for,

Some sort of companionship,

Sort of meaning,

Some sort of relief

From the isolation

Of traveling back Home.


These places

Appear so inviting,

Occupied as they are

With diverse people

And varied opportunities

And glorious vistas.


Then, the fog clears,

And the dismal reality

Comes into full view

Revealing nothing special

In this place

That it is just like

Every other one,

And it is not Home.


These destinations

Do not contain

The luxuries

That allow me

To truly be myself;

Lacks the real support,

In which I long,

And it is void

Of people who truly care

What I am enduring

Amid my waking hours

And sleepless nights.

So I gather up

My belongings

And muster up

The necessary energy

To get back

On the road to Home.


I eventually veer off

Onto the overgrown path,

With it’s deep ruts,

And thick saplings

And broken down dwellings

That leads to Home.


Finally, I arrive.


It is often lonely there too,

Until I look around

And see the One

Who never departs

My Home;

Who helps me find

My way back

To the inner Peace

I long so desperately

To acquire.


It’s ironic

How the Creator

Is always there

Waiting patiently

For my return,

Reminding me

That searching for Home

Anyplace but there

Is unnecessary.


Still,

The Creator

Allows my heart to wander ,

Celebrating when

My heart

Find it’s way back.


There in my Home,

I encounter the One

Who celebrates

My uniqueness,

Holds my hand

When I am scared,

And welcomes in

Those whom I choose

To invite in

For the journey.


Home is where

Inner Peace prevails;

It is the place

That gives me strength

To tackle

The challenges,

The suffering,

The heartache

That exists outside myself.


Other places

Feel like home,

But only when

I am firmly rooted

In the Home of my heart.


So I will stay

Close to Home,

Stay near to the Creator,

Not tarry too long

In places lacking substance,

And Will do so,

As best I can.



PRAYER

Creator God, thank You for never leaving my side. I am so grateful that Your hope permeates my very being and guides me back to my Home, even as I tend to stray away. Please help the Home in myself create Home in the physical space of my house, my work, with family, and with friends. I need look no further than myself to find You and that which truly brings meaning to my life. Amen.





To learn more about Jenny Seylar, Click Here



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