The basic definition of home is “the place where one lives”. This could be nothing more than brick and mortar or boards and nails. To me, home has far greater significance.
This quote by Maya Angelou starts by saying “The ache for home lives in all of us” and ends by defining home as “the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
I know, for some, the ache is stronger than it is for others. But we all experience a yearning on some level to find that one place where we feel accepted just as we are.
For much of my life, I felt I was on a quest to find home…this kind of home. The ache…the hole in my heart… born of that very need for approval would be filled from time to time but never with any permanence.
Knowing faith plays such a significant role in my life, that statement sounds hypocritical.
How can a true believer not feel accepted? Is that not the very premise of being a child of God? To be accepted? To be His?
The answer to all of that is a definitive “yes”.
I am a child of God. I do belong to Him. And He does fill that void…the one that only He can fill.
But here’s the thing.
I am human. I am filled with flaws. I stumble. I struggle.
I take all that love He bestows on me…all the forgiveness…all the grace…
and I muck it up.
I look around and see nothing but reasons to not feel accepted…to not feel acceptable.
And that is where the problem lies.
I look around…
…when I should be looking up.
Lately I have been struggling. October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness month. While the intention is to focus on prevention of this evil disease, I live in a world far beyond preventative measures. I am consumed with surviving the aftermath of the fight and doing all I can to prevent a resurrection of the slain “c” beast. Seeing pink plastered everywhere has done nothing for me other than remind me of things I would rather forget.
I sometimes feel as if I’m trapped in a real life version of Monopoly where I never passed “GO” and was thrown directly in”Jail”. With no financial means to pay my way out and each roll of the dice will not yield a “get out of jail” double. All other players are moving around the game board amassing game winning properties while my stint in the slammer facilitates a rapid descent into bankruptcy and a definite defeat. I feel caught in my very own “Jail Hell”.
To make matters worse, I continually berate myself for these thoughts.
I do not feel accepted by others because I do not accept myself.
Please understand, these feelings aren’t common. But they do catch me unaware from time to time.
I believe in keeping things real so I share here.
Most often, I feel nothing but gratitude for the blessing of healing. The unpleasantness of post cancer crap is nothing more than an annoyance. Although the fear of a recurrence is another story. One that deserves its own post. I’m talking about the physical changes and limitations cancer has left in its wake. Those things that are closely associated with vanity and pride. These are the things that drag me down but should not define me. I try with all my might to pretend they do not exist. Yet if I ignore those times when I feel vulnerable and need to question who I am, where I’ve been, and where I may be going, I miss much of life’s lessons.
I’ve spent the past few weeks mulling over these mixed feelings of gratitude and grief. I’ve prayed. I’ve cried. I’ve tried to write. Then I finally realized, I simply needed to be.
I no longer tried to fight it. I accepted it in all it’s teach-me-much-and-help-me-grow ugliness. I realized without these low moments, I cannot truly appreciate the healing power of God’s grace.
Greater still, as I sat in church this morning, I realized I ached for home.
And God was there with open arms. In Him I will always be complete. I am whole. No longer broken or marred by scars from disease and heartbreak.
I stepped out of my own way in order to find my way back to Him.
In Him, I found my way back home.
Today my story is being featured on Wendy-Nielsen.com. Throughout October, Wendy has hosted stories of breast cancer warriors. They have inspired me and brought me to tears. Please visit Wendy’s site to learn how they are writing a new story.
and it would be oh so cool if you would…
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