Home (less)

This week I have been packing, packing boxes for the first time in my life, without knowing where those boxes will be unpacked.  We are, for all intents and purposes, about to be homeless. I have been hesitating to use that word, 'homeless', because I understand that there are people with far less means than I have currently & whose friends do not hold as much privilege as mine do. Even being in a desperate place, my privilege is something I have to stay very aware of, I will not end up on the streets. But, still, I think it is important to name the thing the thing it is. My children and I will not have a home for the Summer. 

They say everyone is but a few steps away from potential homelessness. And those steps have played out in my life like notes in a song, sung in a minor key.  Divorce, family medical crisis, mental illness, coming out. job loss. Words that all spring into a series of other stigmatized words, the most current of which is homeless. 

I am homeless. But I am not hopeless. 

As I made final decisions to move our things into a friend's garage, I felt the realness of the situation we were facing & a ton of fear.  Those decisions meant yet another layer of security and safety stripped away. Yet suddenly, with the decisions made, I felt awash in certain peace.

Let me try to explain using images, bear with me...  It feels like I dove head first into the abyss (I have been unbelievably brave lately, my people!), only abyss seems like complete darkness & I do not feel like I am in complete darkness. It feels like bright, bright light. It still feels like I am in a free fall, which is f**ing scary. Like I have dove into God & I have risked everything & I am lamenting to Him/Her "PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ME HERE."  And the peace I feel, washing over me, feels like being surrounded in my free fall by HOME. God as HOME. 

At the same time I am loosing home, I am also finding HOME for the first time. 

Home to me has always been a tricky trickster of a thing (much like those tricksters safety & acceptance). As a child, home was not safe & I can remember thinking "when I am older, and I have my own home, it will be safe".  And when I became an adult, I tried and failed to create a home that was safe for myself and my children. The home I tried to create in my marriage was false. I also tried to create and gain the feeling of home in the place of church, but the home I built there was not for me & it proved unsafe and false as well.  

With all of my failed attempts at creating HOME, the only choice I have is to let go. 

And in the letting go, God is giving me HOME. 

And while it feels like I am providing no stability for my children right now. I am finding that my internal sense of HOME being secure, finally, is bringing my children peace as well. They are more secure than they have been in a long time. 

Then I remember my favorite Psalm, finally seeing that it was always a road map to HOME, and God and I have a big laugh.  Because lately I have been sitting on the front landing of the church I was let go from, with friends, & noticing that birds are making their homes inside the hollowed out older bricks of the building. I watch the birds come in and out of the building that I feel so ostracized from. And it gives me so much hope! 

Just as the sparrow seeks her home,
and the swallow finds in her own nest
a place to lay her young,
I, too, seek Your altars, my King and my God,
Commander of heaven’s armies.
4 How blessed are those who make Your house their home,
who live with You;
they are constantly praising You.
[pause][b]
5 Blessed are those who make You their strength,
for they treasure every step of the journey [to Zion].[c]
6 On their way through the valley of Baca,
they stop and dig wells to collect the refreshing spring water,
and the early rains fill the pools.
7 They journey from place to place, gaining strength along the way;
until they meet God in Zion.
8 O Eternal God, Commander of heaven’s armies, listen to my prayer.
O please listen, God of Jacob.
[pause]
9 O True God, look at our shield, our protector,
see the face of Your anointed king, and defend our defender.
10 Just one day in the courts of Your temple is greater
than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather serve as a porter at my God’s doorstep
than live in luxury in the house of the wicked.
11 For the Eternal God is a sun and a shield.
The Eternal grants favor and glory;
He doesn’t deny any good thing
to those who live with integrity.
— Psalms 84:3-11 (The Voice)