There are 3 scars on my stomach. Each one about a half inch to an inch wide. I see them every time I start and end my day. In my going out and in my coming back in I am constantly reminded that there are tiny pieces of me that were recently broken and my body suffered a loss. (Granted that loss was a nasty-barely-functioning gall bladder, but hang with me in this.)
That’s how I would describe 2018. It has broken pieces of me, taken things I loved. All year long. And the hardest part has been knowing God allowed it all.
Knowing He was kind enough to warn me at the beginning of the year when He gave me the word “Home”. When He whispered to my spirit that the word home would be challenged, tested, and change meaning. He was kind enough to warn me but not to spare me. And that’s been hard.
There’s been brokenness and loss. The loss of community I spent 3 years building as I lead into my adult life. The loss of my grandfather and grandmother in a one month span just weeks before I get married. Having my dream job at 23 and having to lay it down. Then changing jobs again. It feels as if I’ve been sliced open and physically had pieces removed from my body- my heart- all year long.
God, why? What are you doing?
With the loss of my job I thought maybe He was teaching me that “home” isn’t a workplace or community of believers. As I got engaged I learned home is not the physical dwelling place where you lay your head. I thought home might be found in the people around you, but then they die, too. And it leaves you spinning.
Where is my home? What is home?
It was at this time that Annie F. Downs released her new book “Remember God”. I got the audiobook as part of the preorder (Thanks, Christian Audio!) and was elated because wedding planning, funeral planning, and working part time leaves me with approximately 2 hrs to spend with the people I love and not much else. I would listen to the book on the way to work and home every chance I could get. But I kept being interrupted by phone calls so it has taken me a while to listen to it all. I think that was God’s providence for my life because I wasn’t ready to finish it until my heart was ready.
Listening to this book- to Annie wrestling through her decision to trust God and His words to her- made my heart soften. It made me realize how foolish I am to sit here and question His sovereignty. Whether I understand His plan or not, if I say I follow God then I have to trust Him. I’ve been so tied up in my own pain and the scars that I forgot to remember God in all of this.
I realize now that as my career shakes up, as Taylor and I marry in a few weeks, as my physical house can change often, and my people will go- I am left with one option. My Home is not here. I put my whole trust in no earthly thing. He is my home.
You’ve probably heard the son lyrics “this world is not my home I’m just passing through.” It’s cheesy but true. A house is just a house. People will come and go. We glean from their knowledge and love them fiercely while we have them. Jobs are earthly assignments, and places to fulfill our calling.
God is my home. My refuge and strength. He is the constant, unchanging in a world that will cut us and take from us. I do not understand or know Him fully. I will fight to know Him more so I can trust Him more.
When I see my scars on my abdomen I will choose to celebrate the healing that occurred in my body and in the bodies of my sick grandparents. I will see them as a sign that God carried me through the valley and we won. There was wrestling to get here, but He got us here.
Above all else, I will choose to remember God.