One of the toughest things anyone can do is be away from home for an extensive period of time. It's even harder when the time away is permanent. It is a challenge unlike any other. One that tugs on the emotions of the soul. And one that causes you to long for what use to be.
Perhaps this is why we have labeled it with a sort of illness and called it 'Homesick'. It takes our minds and hearts out from where we are and makes us into something we aren't used to being.
Away from home.
IT'S GOOD TO BE HONEST ABOUT IT.
I've been there. In fact for the past 3 years or so, I've been there. In a place far, far away from everything I ever grew up with and have known.
I currently live in the Houston area, more than 1000 miles away from where I call home in Central Florida. Away from where I spent my childhood. Away from the perfectly ordinary suburban breeze (which I now find extraordinary). Away from all of my closest family members and friends.
I know this is what most college students go through when they go away for school or even what those who travel for work go through as well.
However, to say it's been the easiest thing I've ever done would be a flat out lie. There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish my daughter would be able to grow up down the street from her grandparents. There's not a moment when I'm watching the newest Marvel movie that I don't wish my best friends were there with me to enjoy the sheer awesomeness. There's not a time when I don't wish I could hangout with my brother or sister or youth pastor/mentor and just be together consistently.
BUT WE ARE CALLED FOR MORE THAN LONGING FOR MEMORIES.
The apostle Paul write in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." (Verse 5:8).
He's implying here that we are not just bodies with life in us. We are more of spirits. A spirit that has the ability to consider itself separate from its body. That's something in this physical world that we tend to not think about. We are souls first, and bodies and minds second.
And when we line up who we are as being a spirit which has a body and a mind, we can remember the truth of our identity in full.
WE BELONG TO GOD FIRST AND FOREMOST.
He has put us here for a purpose and a reason. That reason, to put it simply, is to know Him, Love Him and show other's that same Love so they may know just how Good He is. And, ultimately, it's to understand that we are meant to be with Him above all else.
But even beyond that, after it is all said and done, we are meant to be called Home. Our true Home. To the place we were made for. To the undying lands. To the point where the greatest story we will ever live keeps getting better with each breath.
One of my favorite bands Switchfoot wrote a song about this very reminder and struggle of remembering this called "Where I Belong". It states this feeling perfectly. You can listen to it HERE.
THAT'S WHY WE HOLD TO THE HOPE OF OUR TRUE HOME.
It is hard. It is depressing. It is downright nauseating to miss the physical places and people we long for. But we have a hope for something much greater on the horizon. Not just after death but right in the here and now.
Like the Good Father He is, God gives us all of Him. His time. His open arms. His comfort. His leadership. And He will guide us. Remember that.
You can live as if we are a spirit in a physical body. You can be free, knowing that your pain for home is temporary because Our Good God is eternal. And He has so much in store for you ahead starting with RIGHT. NOW.
So look ahead, look above and look to Him. And know that no matter how far you are from your friends, or how much distance there is between your family and you, you are a living spirit with bones and a brain. You were made to be in the presence of the Holy Spirit and Almighty God.
You are right where you need to be.
You are home.