Home Sweet Home
Home conjures up a lot of things in people’s minds. Your own home always seems to be a place of safety, a place of comfort, a place of rest. When the worlds shouts so loudly, home brings with it a sense of center.
It took me a long time to think of home this way. I grew up in so many different houses. I grew up in a lot of different families. Each place was, in its own way, a training camp. Some places still haunt me. I know they do when a thought comes to my mind and then I feel despair. Those times are so few these days. Jesus Christ is truly the answer for everything.
I came from a family of 5. There were different fathers for us. My mother really did not understand the responsibility of children. She married abusive men, although, her own family was one of stability.
I was born in California. I don’t remember much about that time. I remember being dressed up in a fancy hoop dress. I remember being taken to a house. I remember the lady cutting the hoop out of my dress. I remember being in a foster home with a family who only cared about the money they received for my brother and I being there. I remember not being excited or knowing how I should feel when I was returned to my mother.
Then we came home.
I only remember being in Illinois for a short time before I was again in another home. This time it was in the middle of the night. I didn’t know I was going. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my brother and a woman who fed me Quisp cereal. We ate the whole box. I remember I had to sit in the corner because I had tied my shoes in knots all the way to the top. I had to stay in the corner until they were all untied. I remember the man coming to help me untie them. I felt safe there. Then I went home, even though I don’t remember going home.
The next time I was with another family who was a different race. They were an African-American family. I remember putting a kite together in the garage. I remember putting a rolly polly (I called them tickle bugs) in my brother’s ear. They had to take him to the emergency room to have it taken out. I was so worried I would be in trouble. I wasn’t. I liked it there. I went home again. Again, I don’t remember going.
I don’t remember my mother being a horrible mother. I don’t think kids ever think they have a mom who doesn’t know how to care. It just changes a child. It becomes the normal in their life. My life was normal for me. I was in and out of 5 different homes by the time I was 9. I lived in filth and poverty. I lived with lies and deceit. I lived with abuse and chaos.
I remember seeing a picture of me in California as a baby. It was a newspaper clipping. It was saved and showed off. I was sleeping in a closet as a 6 week old baby. My 10-year-old sister was taking care of me and my 2 older brothers. No one knew where my mother was. There was no furniture and very little food. This life continued.
Some summers I would escape. I went to my 2nd Cousins home in the country. I never wanted to leave. They taught me how good soap smells. They taught me how to laugh. They taught me that my home was not normal. I had hope there in the country. But I had to go home.
I rode the bus to Sunday School. I learned that Jesus loved me. I learned that someday I would have a home in heaven. I felt the burden of my sin even as a 10-year-old. I gave it all to Jesus that day. I remember it so well. Jesus answers prayer.
My mom married again. This time it was different. This man took care of us. We moved out of the apartment where we shared a bathroom with everyone. We moved to the country. The dishes got washed. I had clean clothes. I learned to play the flute. We went to church on Sundays. I had a Grandma who baked cookies and a Grandpa who took care of the garden. I liked my new normal. I walked in this life-like normal. Sometimes taking for granted the gift of home and the gift of my salvation in Christ.
I strayed away from home. I tried everything to fill that emptiness I felt. All I had to do was to go back home. There is safety at home. There is comfort and there is rest. I married, had children and tried to make a home. I was at the center of my home. Everything was supposed to revolve around me. I worked hard to make a home for my children. I didn’t want them to ever feel alone. They were alone. They had clean clothes, they had good food, they had a mom and a dad. I was still away from home.
I woke up one day. It was the gentle voice of my Saviour. He was calling me back home. I cautiously made my way back home. He was still there. Waiting. I thought I would have to give up everything I knew in order to go home. He just wanted me home. I did give up my life. But I count it as naught. He gave me a new life and a new home.
I have a home that feels safe. I have a home where there is comfort. I have a home where there is rest. It is so good to be home.
Romans Chapter 5
1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.