Lately I’ve thought a lot about how a person defines home. Many would say it’s the place where they grew up, or the place they’ve lived their entire lives. Some have moved all over the country from a very young age, whether it be because their family is military or other reasons, so there is no specific place they can say they spent their childhood.
I lived in the same area for the first twenty-eight years of my life, but almost immediately after I got married, my husband and I began moving. A lot. And although our moving was more out of necessity than want, it has taught me a great deal about who I am and forced me to redefine the word “home.”
South Carolina, which is where I grew up and spent most of my life, will always call my name.
What’s in South Carolina? Well, you haven’t tasted real BBQ until you’ve visited the South. You may think you have. Trust me. You haven’t.
SC is also home to some of the juiciest, sweetest peaches I’ve ever tasted and boasts beautiful beaches and rich history. And most importantly, it is where my family is. My mom. My dad. My brother and niece. Several of my cousins. I miss being able to jump in the car and see them at a moments notice, sharing meals together, and spending the evening just talking and watching movies.
Most of all I miss the time they are away from my children, who don’t have the opportunity to spend the night and Pa Pa and Grandma’s house unless it’s during summer vacation.
As much as I miss all these things, I know that moving cross-country twice in the past seven years, with a couple of smaller moves in-between, was part of God’s plan. My husband and I learned to rely on each other and find strength in mutual love and understanding of one another.
One year after we made our first big move, I had my first son. Two years after our move, I gave my life to Jesus. Our faith has grown in leaps and bounds. We’ve begun to trust God in the seasons of struggle and not lose hope.
I moved past my awkward, shy, introverted self and met some amazing people who stretched me in my walk with Christ. I realized that relationships form and grow in God’s timing and not my own.
Through all of the transitions and the growing experiences, I discovered that home is where my family is. Not my Mom and Dad, brothers, niece and cousins. But my husband. My kids. Me. I slapped some paint on walls, hung pictures and kids’ art work. I filled several homes with as much love as one mother’s heart can hold.
Home is walking through the door to a warm embrace and dogs licking my feet. Home is hearing shouts of “Mama” after an evening away and trying not to trip over little arms and legs. Home is my Meemaw’s shadow box hanging on the wall, a sweet memory of a loved one who is now in her eternal home.
One of the most important things moving has taught me is that the dwellings we call “home” here on earth are temporary. My prayer is that no matter where the future takes us, my family will feel home in the very essence of their being, no matter the place… because of the security that they have in God and the love they feel when they walk through the door.