Home.

Long car rides and breaks from school are funny things, and they very much lend themselves to reflection. Considering the 37 hours I have spent in the car in the last two weeks and the fact that I am finally on Christmas break, reflecting has been something I have been doing a lot of.

As I reflect on the last weekend, the last week, the last month, the last semester, and the last year, there is one idea that comes to mind…

Home.

I usually think of home as the house I have lived in my entire life. But as I reflect on the past 12 months, I realize that I have only spent 2 months (not consecutively) in this place. I have been to 7 countries and 10 states in those 10 months I spent away from this house and that is a crazy reality. I found the Kartause in Austria to be home. I found St. Thomas More hall to be home. I found each host family’s house I visited this summer to be home for the week I was there. And I find this house I have lived in for so long to be home now while i am here. But if all of these places became “home” to me…

What is home?

A place of safety. A place of unconditional love. A place to grow.

But the thing is, I am starting to realize that this is not a physical place. Yes we are safe, are loved, and can grow in physical places and we absolutely have to as a part of our growth as human beings. We put our guards down and grow in our homes and with our families and that is a beautiful thing. In the past year I’ve made quite a few physical places home and grown there beautifully. I always look forward to growing here with my family at my house. But sometimes that isn’t the case. Sometimes we don’t receive unconditional love in our homes, sometimes we don’t feel safe. Sometimes we find our heart is stuck between two places and don’t know where to call home anymore.  And so I would like to go beyond all this.

I would go so far to say that home, in the truest sense, is a relationship. And ultimately this relationship is with He who created us. When we are living in relationship with Christ, we are home. We are safe because He is providing for us no matter where we may be physically. We are loved unconditionally by the only One who is able to love in that way. We grow more and more into who He created us to be – an image of Himself.

This relationship can be lived in a variety of physical places, but these things can pass away. He remains.

And so, this world can never truly be home. The closest we will come to Him is Heaven, and so this world should be seen as a journey towards, or practice even, for that. Heaven, my friends, is our true home. This is what we were created for and our longing hearts will never be satisfied until we are in Him. Enjoy the place you are in, but this is not all there is.

You were made for the eternal. You were made for Him. Put your guard down, let Him make His home in you.

Let us go forward in peace, our eyes fixed on Heaven, the one goal of all our works. – St. Therese of Lisieux