Since a young age I have been exploring what is home? Home has been a central theme for me for most of my life. A desire for it, the creating, the seeking, the revelation, the great journey of my own homecoming. It’s been a thread through my story. Most of my life I had dealt with a perpetual sense of homelessness, lack of belonging and roots, aching to have alliance with a place and people, to be a tribesman. I had tasted bursts of this along my way, but somehow the pattern of my upbringing moved me from finding legacy.
The old adage "home is where the heart is" was a journey for me, only to find perhaps it was not true. Long before I received a physical home: habitation, the substance of home in Finland, I had already journeyed far. Far from the depths of my insecurity in the world and vulnerability in my identity to a place of strength in who I was and the discovery of a place of safety in my union with God, as a very good and absolutely true Father. The love and vastness of such love for me, God has lavished upon me as a generous Father and become my home.
My journey had led me to find a true unshakable reality that home was not so much a location or space, nor a temporary state of heart connection to a thing. But home was my place of belonging, to whom, with whom I am. Home was my belonging and identity that I continued to possess through revelation and encounter. My sense of ‘Homelessness’ has been satisfied in these: that I am at home in me, with me, with the relationship I exist in, am true in and in the belonging of my true identity; and that with God I have a safe and perfect place of home. He, my life source, fashioned a place for me, provided a legacy, called me into His tribe. I belong to love and I am only at home in it, in Him, the God, One who is love.
When Norman and I began the creative journey of making our house in Finland, this mismatched undone shell of wood and walls, into a home, we were not in a hurry to overhaul it, the budget didn’t exist to. Although, we had no kitchen, a shower room with no door, a toilet opposite a kitchen sink and entrance steps that sloped to the left, we learnt to live with its abnormalities. We took a slow journey with this house to tenderly renovate it and bring it to life, to make the space a home.
I had a dream to make a home for many, a place where hearts were safe, people came into rest, a place prepared for others, a place to belong, to abide. To invite others into what I myself had longed for.
And so we dwelt in this space we let it tell us how best it could be a space for people to dwell. With that, when one comes into this ‘home’ we wanted to create the experience where one could be and thus belong. We wanted to create an experience, not a mere welcome sign, but an invitation to belong here, with all that that means for ones heart. For, as I have journeyed through my own story, that is what home has come to mean to me. Safe belonging. Safe belonging that comes in many varied forms, from relationships and people, to places and spaces, to truths and values.
The pursuit of ‘home’ and the quest for fuller revelation of it ever draws me, and still many of my dreams are around inviting, creating and providing this for hearts. Yet, I am confident in also the gifts, treasure and truths I have found and possess and have become part of who I am. For come what may on the journey, my heart has found home in who I am, and to whom I will eternally belong and have my being, this is unfading. Home is mine.
We are about to journey on further along the varied terrains of our faith, moving in the rhythms we ourselves do not determine, but whose melody resounds over us. We will once again pack bags and some boxes, we will depart from these four walls for some time, we will tread the path. It will be hard at times, there’s no avoiding the aches in our hearts as we say goodbyes, and there is trembling in our footing however sure we are that we must tread.
We created here under a banner of love, and we go from here with that same banner over and around us. Home is not abandoned, the doors are not closed to it’s reality. We have learnt in whom and to with whom home truly is, and that our belonging is not to a space or a geography but to an unshakable and eternal relationship, love and reality that is our safest and truest place of belonging. It is perfect rest in any passing storm of restlessness, it is our firm foundation in which we stand firm and grow in strength within. Home knows our name and we know His, and that allows us to cast off fear and be journeyman that have said yes to pioneering promises, and carry a conviction that invites others into the home life and belonging of love.
I have travelled far from my childhood vulnerabilities that groaned inside me, I have fought through many years to find the truest sound of what is possible, and we have not yet seen, heard or fully know the great magnitude of belonging and perfection of home that is before us, but let us not settle, but press on in this generous overshadowing love to experience His fullness. And may we live at home with Him each day.