I Dream of a Home

I always grew up with a roof over my head. My family always struggled but we made ends meet. We always knew warmth, and had the luxuries of electricity and water. But I didn’t know one thing. I didn’t know what a home felt like. Growing up, my parents fought all the time. I remember I would jam my index fingers in my ears to drown out the screaming. I had so much fear and confusion placed on my sorrowful heart. Joy was stolen from me at a young age and I resented this loss of youth all throughout my teenage years. I was homeless. I didn’t know Jesus, so I could not rest in His heart and call that place home. I didn’t want to burden anyone or show anyone the void within me.

I remember watching my classmates get excited to walk home with their parents so that they could hear the ending of the bedtime story from last night or watch that TV show as a family together.  I desired that safety and love so badly. I would do anything to receive it— I would do my chores perfectly, get straight A’s, get on a sports team. I tried it all. But my efforts could not put a band- aid on the root of the problem. I could not save my family from falling apart, and it killed me. The tension, weighed words and heaviness in the air persisted. Only in the last few years did I realize that it was not my fault. I couldn’t do anything to fix it, and I have to be okay with that to move on.

Every birthday I’ve had is a little bittersweet. My family fell apart 4 days after my 9th birthday and that time is always hard for me. I had a roof over my head but I didn’t know what a kiss on the forehead felt like. I had food on the table, but I didn’t have the experience of a food fight or a good dinner table conversation. I had clothes to warm my body, but I didn’t know the warmth of a hug.

I wrote this poem as a high school senior, and it encapsulates some of the deep-seated feelings I had about feeling “homeless” but not “houseless.”

“Yearning for light to burst forth from kisses,

I dream of home, I wish to remember.

It hurts when words evolve into hisses,

For pain resides in me this September.

Look in the glass and tell the face you view,

This is the place that face should form once more,

Whose fresh restore will never dare renew.

The universe in your eyes clears the door,

We lived heart to heart, to the song of birds.

One fine day my wounds will close like a fist,

And like the down pour of rain and of words,

Walking a collapsed bridge, I will persist.

This is the only sleeping road I roam,

And each to each love, I dream of a home.”

I realized that home is where there is love. Homes are not perfect with idyllic scenes of 50’s housewives, perfect kids and ideal husbands. Homes are full of raw emotion, eccentricities and quirks that make each home unique. It doesn’t matter where you come from. Do not use your past as a reason not to push forward. Do not let past wounds and pain stop you from having a beautiful life full of possibility and joy. Your past does not define you. Your desires to give and have love are God-given and engrained in your being.

Home is in the heart where Jesus dwells. It is there that we have a taste of Heaven and know we belong in His abiding love. Earth is not our home. We are not meant to live comfortable lives here because this is not our final destination.  God entered my heart at a time in my life where I had no one to make me feel safe or comforted. Home is truly where the heart is. While we are on earth, our heart is the most sacred and intimate part of ourselves. This is why it is so important to guard our hearts and always offer our heart as a home to Jesus before we offer it to anyone else.

Proverbs 31 brought me a lot of insight and clarity when considering my vocation and role in a home. I desire to one day be a wife and mother like the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. The virtues that this woman holds are courage, gentleness, fidelity, resourcefulness, generosity, strength, wisdom, dignity, and fear of the Lord. Let us seek holiness, ladies, and let us begin anew. We are not defined by yesterday, but by our present choices. You can choose to wallow and deny your pain, or youcan courageously start over and let Jesus take care of you.What choice will you make?