I have never considered myself a “homebody”. I have always been fully satisfied with being away from my house, hanging out with my friends, and honestly not talking to members of my family for days on end. It’s never really occurred to me that it was strange or weird . . . I have always accepted that was the way I was.
Earlier this month, I found out that my house had been officially sold. For twelve years I have lived in the same home on Kendra’s Run. My dad drew, designed, and planned out every tiny detail of our beautiful home. This house was filled with memories of slumber parties, dance parties, late night talks, my first kiss, new schools, new friends, heartbreak and so many other vulnerable and deep parts of my childhood. This home was filled with beautiful memories of situations that have molded me into who I am today. I had never considered the emotions I would feel when my house was sold until I realized my lime green room with hot pink curtains was going to belong to another little girl. It was going to provide new memories, good and bad, for someone else. I became emotional when I spent the last night at the house. It was the last time I would sit on the back patio next to a fire with twinkling lights hanging overhead, the last time I would sit at the kitchen bar top and eat pizza with my parents because we were too lazy to fix dinner. There were so many “last time” phrases that were popping into my head and I did not like the upset feeling that was emerging inside of me. I had never felt that type of connection to my home before; it had always just been home.
Strangely enough, I did not cry until I was pulling out of the driveway for the “last time” and I was on my way back to Knoxville. I had Taylor Swift “Fearless” album blaring and I suddenly lost it. I was belting the lyrics to one of her songs and started crying my eyes out. Not just a little tear here and there but full on ugly cry. Sadly, this album had defined my middle and early high school years. To say I was obsessed is an understatement. Singing the songs pulled out so many emotions in me that I had been hiding from for so long.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 36:26
I was ashamed that I was feeling things and that I actually did have an emotional connection to home and I had always just ignored it. But God has given us a heart of flesh in order to FEEL and to LOVE. I began to realize that I was placing value on the physical things of this world. Things like my house, memories, and family. I was putting these feelings and people in a higher and safer compartment than the Lord in my life.
“So we fix out eyes on not what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
Here I was crying over memories of my home rather than thanking the Lord for allowing me to create them. Rather than thanking Him for a family that loves and encourages me more than words can describe, I was sitting in a car frustrated and annoyed that I had to leave my lime green room. Kendra’s Run had become my comfort zone. I didn’t have to face reality there and could find refuge within those walls but God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to a life of un-comfortableness. The things of this world are temporary, they come and go like the waves of an ocean. Which brings me to the song “You Make Me Brave” by Bethel. There is a line in this song that sings,
“You call me out beyond the shore into the waves”
The Lord brings us out of our comfort zone and leads us into the unknown. My house on Kendra’s Run has become my comfort zone and the Lord is removing it from me. He is calling me to trust in Him in this next stage of my life. This next set of memories that are going to be created. The Lord is calling and pulling me to something deeper.
“I am continually with you; you hold my right hand . . . but for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” Psalm 73: 23, 28
Instead of placing my trust and comfort into a physical place, I am called to find refuge in the Lord.
I have come to understand that home is not where you lay your head at night with the familiar people and things around you . . . home is where you seek the Lord and find refuge in your Heavenly Father.
Abby // @abbystrahle