About three years ago I wrote this post about places that feel like home. At the end I said that I hoped one day our new Asian city would feel like home. And three years later I can finally write the follow-up to say that it feels like home here. Toffer quickly took to calling where we live home. He travels with some frequency and needed to feel like he had a place to land, a place that was a haven and a comfort and a place where we are a family together.
The boys took to calling this home at different stages. Our boys who were born here obviously feel like this is home. Benjamin was young enough when we moved that this became home pretty quickly. Samuel took a little longer to warm up. He still sometimes insists that America is home, though we know he’ll miss home here when he’s in America. I took my slow, sweet time warming up to living here and having this become home.
It took me three Christmases, three Thanksgivings, many birthdays, having two children here, and investing in a life here day after day after day to finally be able to say, “This is home.” One day in my Attitude of Gratitude project I was thankful that my bedroom had become a haven, a safe place for me. In the months after Isaac was born I hated our bedroom. I honestly really didn’t like our house in general. I really didn’t like being here in general. It was hard. It was painful. Everything in my life was in transition and I felt lost. I had a lot of anxiety after Isaac was born for a wide variety of reasons.
But I woke up every day. I got out of bed every day. I forced myself to learn how to live here. I prayed for boldness and courage to build relationships here. I kept telling Toffer I never expect to have an easy life here, but I wanted to have a good life here. Over time some things got a little easier. And over time the richness of life here got a hold of me. Over time I went from trying to find every way off this island to getting to the point that I was less-than-thrilled with taking the last trip we went on. I wanted to just stay home.
Home is one of those things that can’t be measured or specified. You just know it when you see it. And what makes this home is not what made me feel at home in Tennessee or any of the other places I’ve lived that feel like home. I’m thankful to have multiple earthly homes where I’ve loved and been loved, where I’ve invested and built a life, where I can go and find pieces of my past. Ultimately I know my real home is in heaven and nowhere on earth will fully satisfy that longing for belonging and feeling fully settled. I will live in my earthly home as long as God sees fit and look forward to eternity where I will be settled forever.