“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
Luke 15:17-20 ESV
Much like the prodigal son I came to my senses last year. I dropped the golden calf of an abusive relationship that I believed was true love, and decided to go back home to my loving heavenly Father.
But the journey home has not been without it’s challenges. Because unlike the prodigal son who knew what a real home was like, I have come to realize my own understanding of home is terribly skewed.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that my mom had asked me recently if I wanted to come home. I told her that the town where she lived wasn’t my home, but that I’d like to see her and my brother.
This conversation raised a question in my mind. Exactly where is home? Certainly its more than a house or a town.
The word home brings a comforting picture to my mind. It’s somewhere I’d love to be, but I don’t know exactly how to get there.
Home is the place where our heart feels safe and where we can rest in the comfort of knowing that we are loved. It’s also the place where we can trust that the one who loves us wants what’s best for us.
I realize today growing up that I didn’t know this place as a child. For as far back as I can remember the world has felt like a very unsafe place where people can’t be trusted and where bad things happen in dark rooms at night. Where people pretend to care and be kind but take advantage of you when others aren’t looking.
I believed my heart had found its home in the relationship with my former pastor. I trusted him with my heart, soul, mind, and all of my story. I allowed myself to rest in the safety of his embrace and later discovered that he wasn’t home at all, he was just another one of those people who pretended to care, but in the darkness when no one was looking he was really after fulfilling his own desires.
Now when I try to go home to God, to rest and find comfort in trusting Him I wonder at times if He has a hidden agenda and if He’s really safe. I have visions of time with my former pastor and get confused about what true intimacy really is, and my mind defaults to fear that I will be taken advantage of once again.
But God is not an abuser. He doesn’t have a hidden agenda. He doesn’t have selfish desires. His desire is for me to know and experience His love, and for my heart to know it is at home with Him.
Chuck Degroat talks about in his book Leaving Egypt God’s relentless pursuit of the Israelites who were enslaved by a similar fear, and God’s plan to deliver them:
God’s focus is not just forgiveness but restoration. God’s tabernacle plans would go on, as nothing less than God’s abiding presence would ultimately comfort the fearful hearts of the people. To his wary disciples, Jesus promised that a Comforter and an Advocate would come, the Spirit of truth, entering the very hearts of God’s people in order to take up residence forever (John 14:16-17). In other words, God would tabernacle more closely than ever, dwelling in us, advocating for us, comforting us in the midst of our pain. Jesus knew that nothing less than God’s relentless love could cure our weary and fearful souls.
Yesterday my husband’s aunt said something that stuck with me. She said, “God waits for us to ask Him before He acts.”
Asking is an indication that we trust that the person that we are asking can provide what it is that we want. God wants us to trust He is a good Father. He wants is to ask Him for what we need.
So I’m asking Him to keep reminding me that my heart is at home with Him, to show me the fears that impede my path, and to gently lead me towards the place of His peace. And that His relentless love would cure my weary and fearful soul. I’m opening the door and inviting Jesus in…
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.
Revelation 3:20 AMP
DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me. In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when (if) I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.
John 14:1-3 AMP