I long to write about my travels, my story. From the trials to the triumphs. Every raw, messy, tangled in grace part of it but every time, my ink doesn’t flow on to the pages, my paper remains bleached white and empty, longing to be written on but the writer can’t seem to get past her own deepest fears.
The pages remain crisp and white, calling for attention, for a story to be written down as my memory tries to rewind to the places and people and memories I’ve encountered. But I only end up feeling a little bit lost, as I’ve left pieces of myself in so many diverse places, often longing to stay, just a little bit longer. My heart feels scattered day after day, its broken down into pieces that long for remembrance, familiarity. Sometimes as the years go by, I can’t help but wonder if that little piece that I left behind has been forgotten just yet.
My heart beats to a startling pace as I desperately search for my roots, all for the sake of finding answers, but in the end, the conclusion is always the same. The question remains without an answer. I simply and gently whisper ‘where do I belong?’ perhaps I’ve locked this subject deep down too long, fervently trying to ignore the complexity of it all. Flashes of tear-stained cheeks, unwanted goodbyes, a desire to stay just a little bit longer lingering in the days to come, but I’ve always had hope in knowing that Healing would always be near my aching heart.
I long to share my story, bravely- honestly – openly, and without trembling fingers. Yet to share something I’ve kept silent has always risen a fearfulness of being completely and fully known. I’ve shared bits and pieces, but to allow everything to vulnerably form into words is a thought I’ve strayed from, for good reason, I always thought.
As the girl who seems known, but often feels unknown. Who only partially belongs, who is different, unique. Striving to adjust to every culture and to align herself with each tradition, but never succeeding. Attempting to be ok with not fitting the mold. Taking ‘home is where the heart is’ on a deeper level than most. Having pages of your story written in airports and unknown places.
Sometimes I travel back down memory lane, retracing step after step, meandering through each path I’ve ever stumbled across yet I’ve never been able to rediscover the pieces I thought I left behind, but still determined to look a little deeper, farther past myself, I succeeded in finding glimpses of His grace etched into each moment and memory, every tear and joy, the goodbyes and hello, in every page of my story.
Some days the taunting question, ‘where do I belong?‘ subtly lingers in my mind, but lately, I’m longing to discover and unravel the truth to that question- attempting to bravely unfold that crinkled up paper where the answer can be found. Home is no longer a place to me, it’s no longer where my heart is, but it’s a truth that cannot be torn apart. I belong in His loving arms, under His wings of protection, wrapped up in His tender care. That’s where I feel at home, at peace with myself and God.
The need to feel accepted, to keep assuring myself of who I am, is no longer a complex feeling of frustration and allusions because I’m learning that acceptance doesn’t come from where you’ve been or the people you’re with, but acceptance comes when you realize to Whom you belong.
It’s not the tears you’ve shed or the unwanted goodbyes, it’s not a place or a feeling, its not culture or traditions, its not the languages you speak or the friends you’ve made, home is learning to rest in His tender arms when you were told that life would begin anew in an unfamiliar place, when the new beginning held various mixed feelings and with it aroused expectations you’ve felt you had to meet, when you felt all alone and everything you’ve ever known could no longer be your source of comfort, when you felt a little lost and confused at why you are where you are, when you begin to wonder why you’ve been placed right in that particular place, when the future feels like a daunting adventure and you don’t know what’s around the corner. With every passing day, you strive to settle the startling fear that comes with living by faith. You begin to feel as if you no longer can describe home, but please know that you’re not alone in that feeling. I haven’t been able to for a while, either.
I’m learning that home is not the jungles of South America or a small valley in the midst of the Ande mountains, it’s not in the desert of Peru, or by the shore of the Mediterranean sea, it’s not someplace way up in northern Italy, it’s not traveling down the highway in America and it’s not about how many states I’ve been to, its not about where your story has taken place or any other places you’ve had the privilege of experiencing. It’s not where you were, where you are, or where you will be.
Home is not a place- home is a resting assurance + acceptance that can only be found in His tender arms. The next time that question threatens to tear you apart and you can’t help but ask for the hundredth time with a cracked, whispered voice ‘where do I belong?‘
Know this: you belong in His arms of mercy and grace. Claim His sheltering arms as your home, because no other place or person will ever satisfy that longing to be known, seen, loved, and accepted like He will. No matter where in the world you are, know that the feeling of home is in His arms.
With all my love,