We’re not home yet

Years ago, when I was in school, I loved to doodle houses on the edges of my notes. Houses isn’t quite accurate. It was one house, over and over:

A long front porch.

A chimney on the side.

Huge windows flanking the front door.

Three dormer windows. Real dormer windows, not the fake ones intended to make a one story house look like a two story.

The landscaping was generic: curly-qued bushes, stick straight trees. I was always more interested in my home than the greenery surrounding it. This was my future home, I would think. My dream house, filled with light and lovely furnishings and books. Lots of books.

Thus far, I have yet to find this dream home.

My childhood home was one story.

My house from my teen years was a one story, but with a front porch.

(Don’t even ask about the dorm from my first year of college.)

Our starter home was another rancher, without a front porch but with a chimney.

Our next house was two stories, a small porch, without a chimney.

Our current residence is another two story house, without a chimney, with a front porch, but still no dormers. I’m close, but not there yet.

I think I may never live in that little doodle-house, at least not in this life.

I’m not home yet.

——————————————————————————–

Life has a way of beating us down. Years of pain take their toll. Even the strongest, feistiest people can reach a point of weariness if there seems to be no end in sight and no rest from the constant struggle to survive.

There are as many types of pain as there are people in this world, and each is unique because we’re unique, and each is commonplace because we’re all humans and share certain commonplace, but powerful, longings. We long for a home.

It’s there, doodled on the edges of our hearts. We can’t physically see it, but our hearts do.

My mental illness wears me out. A year or two ago, it had just punched the daylight out of me. It was fall, a season that upsets my mental equilibrium. My daughter’s school situation was a mess. Our church had split; every Sunday morning brought news of turmoil and the loss of more familiar faces. I had just ditched Facebook and was struck with the reality that I had no friends. I’d been using social media as a substitute for the loneliness I felt at church. In its absence, I was alone.

I didn’t blog.

I didn’t read.

I gave up work on my third novel in the middle of the first draft. I’ll never be a writer, I thought. No one cares what I write.

I sat on the sofa and listened to silence.

When my kids were home, I pulled myself together. My five-year-old wanted me to read the Chronicles of Narnia aloud. I obliged. What else could I do?

One day, we were reading Prince Caspian. Aslan, the great lion, has returned to Narnia after many years. People have almost forgotten him: trees are silent, the talking animals are in hiding, the humans have forbidden all talk of the old ways of Narnia. Many don’t believe that Aslan exists.

Aslan returns. He awakens the sleeping, frightens the bullies, and restores the world to its proper state. At one cottage, he comes across an old woman, Caspian’s former nurse. She is dying, but she looks up to see the massive lion staring into her face.

“ . . . she did not scream or faint. She said, “Oh, Aslan! I knew it was true. I’ve been waiting for this all my life. Have you come to take me away?”

“Yes, Dearest,” said Aslan. “But not the long journey yet.”

I choked up.

In her words, I felt that longing for home. Against all odds, it was true. There is a God. There is a life beyond this waiting. There is a home, where depression and mania, loneliness and pain, where all of that ceases. And one day, the weariness of this life will drop away. I’ll walk up the front porch steps, wipe off this life on the door mat, and walk through the open door and be home.

But not yet.

For now, I’m here.

For now, there is this life to be lived.

For now, there are these pains, these joys, these temporary buildings, these flesh-houses that are amazing and limited.

We’re not home yet.

Photo credit: click, from morgueFile.com 

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “We’re not home yet

  1. This is just beautiful! I have to look out for your books, and especially that third novel that I hope you’ve finished or will finish! As I experience it myself, your pain and struggles lead you to bless others with your writing. Hope you are going on with it – as long as you’re in this earthly life and home :-). Blessings, Claudia

    Like

    1. Well, I haven’t published any books yet, though I’m hopeful that one day they will be published. I did eventually begin work on that particular novel and am happy to say that I finished the first draft and two more drafts. 🙂

      Thank you for the kind words. I just keeping going. I think that’s what God wants me to do, even if the road is hard and bumpy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, great to hear that you have finished three drafts already! I’m sure I’ll see a published novel of yours someday – keep going on this bumby road then…Reminds me of a song by Alison Strauss, “A living prayer”. The way is dark, the road is steep, but He’s become my eyes to see. My strength to climb, my grief to bear – the Saviour lives inside me there. And in the chorus: In your love I find release, a haven from my unbelief. Take my life and let me be a living prayer, my God, to Thee. Fits for you I think :-). All the best!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really don’t wont to push my marketing on you – but as the song came to my mind, I wanted you to hear it because I so know the feeling of being alone. I made a cover of it – so here’s to you (hope this works :-).

    Like

    1. I’m sitting here listening. In a word: beautiful! You have a lovely voice, and this is a great cover of this song. (Everything I’ve heard of Alison Strauss’s is enjoyable.) The music fits the mood I’m in now, and the mood I was in when I wrote this. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah. What you said about this life being a shadow reminded me of yet another C.S. Lewis book, The Last Battle, where the children are taken from the shadowlands into the real Narnia. Beautiful picture of coming home to Jesus.

      Like

  3. Yes and no. For just as Aslan returned to Caspian’s nurse, he was not there to take her on the long journey yet. She met him again, but he did not take her away. We need not wait for death to know God. There are moments of recognition, times when he visits us. You need not wait for death. Life, too, offers you glimpes of God’s love and beauty. Even amidst pain and suffering we can experience love and beauty. Allow God into your heart now. You have a calling to love your children, to let them experience God’s love through you.

    Like

    1. Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that we couldn’t know God here; simply that we can’t know him fully–the way we will in heaven–until then. And you are very right, even in pain and suffering we can experience love and beauty (maybe we even experience them in greater measure because of the contrast between the pain and the love!).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, not depressed right now. But when I was reading Prince Caspian to my daughter, I certainly was. (This was about two years ago.) I was able to have an unscheduled appointment with my doctor and my meds were adjusted, and fortunately, I moved up and out of the depression within a month. I’m at a stable place right now. Thank you for your concern, Kitt. I appreciate it whenever someone asks about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thought about clicking “like” on the comment, and then thought that might not look so good! I’m glad that you’ve used your pain for a purpose; your desire to help the mentally ill is inspiring.

        Liked by 1 person

What do you think? I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s