“Any conflict you run from is only going to be waiting for you in a future season.” Steven Furtick, Elevation Church
I just attended a writer’s conference and was away from home for a week. I enjoyed being away, but I thought a lot about coming home. Not in the way you might think, though. Typically, I am super pumped about coming home. Sleeping in my bed, being with my people and doing my thing in my home. But this time, I thought about coming home more along the lines of sort of not wanting to come home. That sounds bad and I guess it kind of is, but hear me out.
The conference was so good. I was with my people. Not my home people but my other people. People like me with a similar calling and similar passions. Other writers. As well as long-time friends and new friends. It felt like home to me. I didn’t want to leave. It was so good to be away from home. To get away from my normal routine. From my normal life. Let it be noted that I use the term “normal” loosely. After living a life of crazy overseas adventures, these last two years of being home in the US, I’ve struggled with feelings of being stuck. I thought a lot about how good it was just to get on an airplane and how good it was to get out of my life for a bit. Getting away enables us to gain a fresh perspective and allows us to come home seeing things differently. I wrote more about that in a previous post, When Your Whole Face Smiles. It’s just good to get away. And normally it’s good to go home.
Sometimes we can dread coming home – “home” can either be figurative or literal. Home might not be safe. Home might not be comfortable. Home might not be pretty. Sometimes my home doesn’t feel safe or comfortable. That’s not intended to be a confession of any kind (so don’t worry Mom) it’s just the way of life. I thought about what I might be coming home to that would be challenging. I thought about what I might be coming home to that wasn’t as fun as being away. I really liked where I was. North Carolina and Georgia are beautiful states! I remember the first time I went to North Carolina I thought that it must be what heaven was like. Then I went to New Zealand… But when the conference is over and the airline emails you that it’s time to check, you have to go home.
Maybe we leave our figurative or literal home because we’re going somewhere beneficial or just for fun but maybe, like Jacob, we’re running from a conflict or a hard situation. The truth is that even Jacob had to go home and face his conflicts. He and his brother, Esau, had issues. You know, just your every day “I’m going to hunt you down and kill you!” type issues. NBD… Jacob feared for his life.
But check this out. The Lord came to Jacob in a dream and told him some amazing things about fulfilling His promises of offspring and blessings. He also promised Jacob this:
Just as the Lord promised Jacob that He would not leave him until the promise was fulfilled, the Lord promises you and me the same thing. The Lord will be with us and never leave us until He has done what He promised.
We can’t run forever. Whatever conflict we run from really will just be waiting for us in another season.
Let’s face the truth, you have to go home. And so do I. And God will be with us.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” Genesis 28:20-22
What’s your stone? Your pillar? For me, it’s a date. The date of this post as a matter of fact. The anniversary of an event that I find myself trying to run from every year. This date shows up every year. Weird how that happens. 🙂 As I encourage you to go “home” know that I am encouraging me to go “home” too. This stone, this post, will be a pillar to remind me that God is with me, He will not leave me and He will keep me safe until His promise is fulfilled.
For more encouragement, here is the message by Steven Furtick at Elevation Church that gave me some inspiration for this post.
Thank you for sharing your reflections on home! I am moved by your honesty and find that I identify with what you said, even though I wouldn’t have known if without reading your thoughts. Like Moses, the longing to stay on the mountain with God pulls at me. But, He needs me to come down among His people (with all of their grumbling and complaining). You have to go home. But we can be sure that God waits for us there, just as He held us close while we were away!
I want to add your words to my post, Kelly. 🙂 Perfectly said. I’m grateful this was an avenue of reflection for you.