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: