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If You Just Don’t Feel Quite At Home

We did it. We downsized. And if I just ignore the island of boxes where the coffee table ought to be, I like our charming new space. So why do I feel so profoundly sad?

I took Marie Kondo’s advice and kept only the things that spark joy. Over there on the bookcase is the photo of my dad, the college professor, the way I remember him: wearing a bow tie, with his hands resting on his hips and a broad, cigarette-stained smile. There’s Mom’s sunflower cookie jar. And here are the ceramic pinch-bowls formed by my kids’ very own, elementary-school hands, the ones I keep repurposing as receptacles for rubber bands, pens, or toothbrushes.

Guess I need Maria Von Trapp to pay me a visit, and stat, because I’m surrounded by more than a few of my favorite things, yet they all make me want to cry. I already tried popcorn, my go-to snack, and that didn’t cheer me. I want out of here, but I can’t leave. Garth has the car, and I can’t take a walk because the 92-degree air is thick with toxic smoke from our local forest fire. With every passing moment, this narrow space feels less like a townhouse and more like a tomb, locking me between one life and the next.

I’m not sure what all is eating at me–maybe I’m grieving change; maybe I’m more disappointed than I realized that this weekend’s plans fell through, for a visit from our daughter and her family. But I do know two things: One, I could use a time out–a full stop from the sorting and decorating and reminiscing. And two, a change of music is in order, because Heart and Journey and the Eagles are bringin’ me down. (Ever notice how mournful “Best of My Love” is? Super tragic.)

Propping an elbow on my desk, I rest my chin in my palm and scroll through Facebook until my face melts. Okay, now I’ve hit bottom. And I’m teetering on the brink of feeling sorry for myself, like a girl lost in the shadowlands, like one who has no hope. I know where I need to go. I’ve known for a while.

Lord, help. It’s all I can think to say. But I’ve switched to a praise station now. And where words fail, music begins an exchange. I am yours, my heart sings. Somewhere between the lines and notes, I feel him singing back to me, a song he wrote only for me, lifting my head ever so gently, drawing me away from this tendency to tuck and fold, to hide my heart. I’m reminded who I am. Assured of who Jesus is.

I’m a child of freedom. He’s my liberator.

I was a good enough reason for him to die. He paid a colossal price for my one small life.

I’m a precious child, wrapped in safety. He’s a doting father.

Prayer is like coming home. Like knocking on the door of the place I most belong. My forever place.

Now I feel him pulling me through the door, inch by inch. My grief becoming something else–something loosely resembling gratitude. It’s a start.

Don’t all good homecomings begin with an appreciation of the past? It’s history that draws us back. Through chapters that roll one into the next, within a story that has no finale, he has loved me. Held me. With him, there is no The End.

Dwelling on a hurt doesn’t remedy the hurt. But dwelling on our security in Christ heals us. Sulking isn’t productive. But observing our grief can be, when it draws us back to the one who designed our negative emotions for that very reason.

Why do you keep drawing us back, Lord? So I can renew you, I hear him say. So I can fill you with the fruit of righteousness. So I can give you not just some, but all grace, making you sufficient. Making you exactly enough for every good work I have planned for you. The wonderful plans I told you about. Remember?

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. -2 Corinthians 9:8

If you’ve been feeling a little lost or homesick, know that I’ve prayed for you today. And I invite you, Come home to the Father. Pray with me:

Thank you, Father, that you do have a wonderful plan for my life. That plan does not preclude pain, sadness, or disappointment. This life wasn’t meant to fit like a favorite pair of slippers. You saved me, not so I can be cozy, but so I can be holy. So I can help bring a little more light, a little more love, a little more heaven to earth. A little more home to the shadowlands.

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8 Responses to If You Just Don’t Feel Quite At Home

  1. Linda Stoll 09/13/2017 at 12:39 pm #

    beautiful. i remember our transition, the move, the deaths, the life-altering changes just 2 years ago in my own life.

    please know that it gets better, much better, Kit!

    • Kit 09/13/2017 at 12:47 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement, Linda!

  2. sue 09/13/2017 at 11:12 am #

    You are fine writer. I loved every sentence. I’m no pro, but honestly, I think you are great. AND I loved the message, and the Eagles and crying over old stuff and photographs – well, I don’t love the crying but I relate to the crying, and shadowlands. we are meant for another world and part of this grieving of change and goodbyes and switching out the old for the new is part of that knowing that we are. A pleasure to link alongside of you in CA this weird weather day.

    • Kit 09/13/2017 at 11:36 am #

      Thanks for reading, Sue! Funny, I was just over at your site. Love your voice!! Yes, we are indeed meant for another world. Praise God. Meanwhile, I’m embracing the uncomfortable 🙂

  3. Michele Morin 09/08/2017 at 1:21 pm #

    You just may have given me words for a feeling I’ve left unnamed this summer. I’m supposed to be clearing out and organizing, cleaning off book cases to make space for more books. But I’m just not finding it to be a priority.

    • Kit 09/08/2017 at 3:07 pm #

      Oh, Michele, I hear you. I’m convinced letting go of our stuff brings out hidden emotions. And I think it’s closely tied to grieving. Allowing ourselves to enter into that is a brave act!

  4. David V, Burdick 09/03/2017 at 6:33 pm #

    Kit, your words are beautiful and inspiring. I know many people and many of them close who have not found what we have and I know that your words would be inspiring to them if they only read them. I pray in the name of our lord Jesus that many who are lost will use your light to find their way home, God Bless you Kit – I am blessed to have met you once. David V. Burdick

    • Kit 09/03/2017 at 8:43 pm #

      David, I earnestly pray the same. Thank you for joining me.

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