Home: Lost and Found

For my 11th birthday my parents got me a suitcase.  It was probably designer labeled.  All I remember is it was large and red and foretold of trips to come.

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The following summer my suitcase and I spent 8 weeks at a summer camp in Maine.  That first night the chirpy counselors gave us postcards to send home telling of our safe arrival.  I scribbled a desperate plea in teeny letters at the bottom, “Please come get me! I hate it here!” They did come, but not until parents weekend mid-summer.  The mail must have been very slow.

Then at age 14 I watched the family station wagon pull away, leaving me and my suitcase in rural Virginia in the middle of horse country – with no horse and no clue as to how to fit in.  It was an all-girls school where your team designation, a Fox or a Hound, was a religion, where hazing was commonplace, where you slept in bunk beds within chilly screened in porches.

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At 18 my suitcase and I went to a Christian college in suburban Chicago where I started mid-year and struggled to break into already bonded friendship circles – in spite of the welcoming sign on my dorm room door, “Smile, New Girl.  God loves you.”

When I went home for Spring Break, my bedroom had been turned into a guest room.  A lovely room.  (My mother was a decorator.) But the message was clear.  There was no going home in the sense of staying.

I came to realize that Home was not a place.  And glomming onto bedroom memories only made me more lonely.

Home was a person. A God whose companionship I began to seek.  And still seek.

God gives Shelter. Not suitcases.

And that has been enough.

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Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

 

Psalm 84

1 How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. 

One thought on “Home: Lost and Found

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  1. I completely agree!!!!!!!!!!! What a time we had, from Maine to boarding school onward. I thank God for you and our survival!
    Love from your brother Charlie

    Like

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