By Kendra Roehl
Are you homesick? No, it’s not only a feeling children experience. It can happen to all of us, dear wife. Here’s my story.
The clock reads 12:15 a.m…then 1:15 a.m…now 2:30 a.m., and I lay here, still awake. Unable to sleep since waking with one of the kids who needed to use the restroom. Unusual for me, as I am typically able to fall back to sleep quickly, but tonight my mind begins to race with all the changes coming to our lives.
I wonder about where we’re moving, if it’s right. As I toss and turn and fret, a familiar feeling begins to rise in my chest, a fear, yes, but more than that, an ache. A familiar homesickness that sends me back to moments and memories of childhood where I longed for nothing more than to hug my mother’s neck, smell her familiar scent, and know at once that I was home.
Home. A place you feel loved and known and know well yourself. For me, home has always afforded me comfort and safety. And this unsettledness, this homesickness I feel—can’t be shaken anymore by the embrace of my mother. Now I am the mother, loving my children, calming their fears.
But homesickness rises in me just the same and, as silent tears slip down my cheeks, I find myself whispering to God, “I just want to feel like I am home again.”
Where Your True Home Lies
In the quiet of these early morning hours, a soft response comes from God:
“I’d like to be your home.”
I think about this response. Letting the words linger and seep deep into my mind and heart. What could it mean for my life if I allowed myself to truly and completely find myself at home with Christ alone?
How freeing would it be to not need to feel so tied, so settled to a specific place or physical address, to know that I could go and be and do, anywhere in the world—and yet always know that I was home?
That security and familiarity were never more than a prayer away. To feel wrapped in a love so well known, so familiar, it had a faint scent your senses remembered. To never feel homesick again.
Letting Go of Homesickness
“This is what I want,” I respond, even as the ache of homesickness continues, for now anyway. “I want my home to forever be in you.”
And as I say the words, I slip into sleep.
It’s been several days and I can’t shake this conversation, so profound and revolutionary to me, this idea of my home truly being found in God and not in this world. And it is freeing me from my fears. Releasing tethers in my mind that tie me to a specific place.
Little by little, homesickness is letting go of me as I grasp on to Christ in this season.
As I daily find myself calling back to God, “you are my home.”
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (NIV)
Wife Step: Are there things in your life that aren’t quite settled, that you are still waiting for answers for or are in need of a resolution of sorts? Today, as those harder emotions come up, take a moment to bring them to God in prayer instead of just ruminating about them in your own mind.
Do it afraid. Kendra Roehl has sought to live out that advice as a social worker, foster parent, mother of five, public speaker and author. Kendra and her husband have become well-known advocates for foster care, taking in over 20 children in six years, and adopting three of them. She continues to care for others on their journeys as a frequent speaker, a founder of The Ruth Experience and an author of several books, including the One Year Daily Acts of Friendship: 365 Days to Finding, Keeping, and Loving Your Friends. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook @theruthexperience
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