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homecoming

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A little while ago, I stepped into liminal space – that in between, uncertain space in life where what you know is confusing and uncertain and the world around you is changing. A space in which everything is called into question and answers are rare. It has been anything but comfortable. I’ve tossed and turned many nights, shed many tears, and begged God for clarity over and over. Answers didn’t seem to come, but time passed.

For a control freak like me, I wanted to control the calendar… I knew the liminal space was coming, but I wanted surety prior to stepping into it! I wanted to know what’s now, what’s next, before taking the next step.

But stepping into the liminal space wasn’t actually something I could control. The land of certainty and what I know was coming to an end and the questions remained unanswered. I can’t say I trusted God, really, as I stepped into the liminal space. I think it was more like being on an escalator – you get to the top of the stairs and there isn’t much choice but to go onto the level which the moving stairs have taken you. the escalator part ends. Now my analogy breaks down as I suppose you could keep stepping backwards and stay in the same place, where as time does not allow such freedom.

The other day, I walked into a church and was greeted by friends, welcoming me “home”. I didn’t have to explain myself nor did I have to be anyone but me. My friends celebrated where I’ve come from and what I have been doing, telling others so that they too could join in the beauty of God’s work. I felt that my friends’ words were apt – I had come home.

Today, another experience of homecoming almost overwhelmed me to tears. I attended orientation at my theological college. It was a strange day. I am no stranger there. About 10 years ago, I took old testament courses as part of my undergraduate. As soon as I left home, I was done with philosophy and tried very hard to skip that degree. But my professor offered wise counsel – finish my degree. It took awhile, but I did a couple of years ago. I had taken courses on and off, always having one foot in at the college. They saw me through pretty rough times.

Today I was greeted by professors and staff members who know me. They didn’t use these words but – they welcomed me home. THese are people who have loved me, taught me, guided me, prayed for me… and they, along with many many more people, are a very important part of my family. I was reminded today – as I have been all summer – that in Christ, my family is quite large and it is quite an amazing thing to ponder how many people have prayed for me over the years.

This may be liminal space that I am in. But God is here. and I am where I belong. I don’t think ‘home’ will ever be a physical place for me. My B.A. thesis was about ‘home’ not being dependent on a building, but rootedness in Christ. I am seeing that. over and over. God is here, in this liminal space, and I am home even in the midst of confusion and disorientation.

I have come home. As switchfoot sings (lyrics below), I’ve found a place where I belong.

I’ve got my memories/ Always inside of me/ But I can’t go back/ back to how it was/ I believe now/ I’ve come to far/ No, I can’t go back/ Back to how it was/ Created for a place I’ve never known/

This is home/ Now i”m finally where I belong […} I’ve been searching for a place of my own

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