I was planning to write a post about creating a place for your family to come home to that is warm and welcoming. It has to do with atmosphere and attitude and all of that. It is something I strive for and desire, but I have to confess something. Its something that I fail at. I don’t meant I fail at it because my house isn’t cozy enough or I don’t have pumpkin-scented candles burning and soft music playing every time my husband and kids come home. Can we all agree that those things are not the goal?
I fail at it because my heart is not in the right place. My heart, the safe place for them to come home to, is not always a safe place for them. I disappoint. I’m tired, I get moody. I’m slow to listen, quick to speak. I snap at them for no reason. Basically, I’m selfish. I want to enjoy my cozy moment- the one with the candles, the blanket, the cup of coffee- and then these kids come running all over it with their dirty socks not in pairs and and their shoes on the carpet and their crumbs on the floor and I have to admit there are times that those are the only things I see.
Home is not always the safe space I want it to be. And sometimes its because of me.
So I strive and I grasp for a little piece of comfort. Make it cozy. Let’s get some curtains, some more throw pillows. A few more things from HomeGoods and Target. Maybe a new rug? It will be perfect. If I can just get this place cleaned up, my attitude will be better. If I can just get organized, decorated, put-together, un-cluttered, I’ll be nicer, happier, a better mom, a better wife. Anyone else? All too soon those purchases stack up into Goodwill and yard sale piles. More proof of disappointment and unfulfilled expectations.
There’s much worse disappointment in the home too. You know what I’m talking about because you’ve experienced it. Maybe in the home you have now or in the one of your youth. Death, divorce, illness, addiction, abandonment.
There’s no amount of cozy lamp-lit glow or combination of cute throw pillows that can heal those wounds.
When I look around, it seems like we all have this desire, this need and longing for a safe space to call home. I went to a concert a few weeks ago with some friends and the opening act, Pentatonix, sang a song called On My Way Home. Kelly Clarkson (who is amazingly talented, and seems so real and down to earth, by the way) sang a beautiful and heart wrenching song called Piece by Piece. Its about how her husband is healing the brokenness inside her that her father created when he abandoned her at age 6. As sweet and touching as that song was, my friend sitting beside me who experienced a similar abandonment looked over and said “I love that, but to me that song is about Jesus.”
I get what she’s saying and she’s absolutely right.
Here on this earth: home, husbands, relationships, friendships- they are always going to disappoint. Always.
The coziest, most well-designed and beautiful home is still full of people who at some point disappoint each other and need forgiveness.
So where do you turn when home disappoints? Where do you turn when you are the one who disappointed them all? The emptiness left behind from all the disappointment, regret & unmet expectations- do they leave you hollow? Or do you allow Him to fill you up with his grace? The emptiness left behind leaves an opportunity and space for grace. While it will never be filled by another trip to HomeGoods (or those new pair of shoes?), rest assured that none of this disappointment or this longing for fulfillment is in vain.
Its all pointing us to where we truly Belong, to the only One who can truly fulfill and who will never ultimately disappoint.
Trials still come, pain still exists. I make mistakes and rely on grace daily. But there is a hope beyond all of this for a home. A home where I will be fully known and fully loved. Where I will be able to fully love and fully enjoy those around me without this encumbering sin that so easily entangles. A home where death and destruction, cancer and homelessness, addiction and hunger will no longer exist.