Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about “home” and what it means. I have lived in twelve houses so far in my life. That’s an average of 2 years in each house (although some were longer than others) which feels absolutely crazy when I say it. For me, each of those houses was home, in its own way – because I was with my family, or because I made it home.
I really value having a space to call ‘home’, that’s mine. In each of the places I’ve lived, someone else has made the decision for us to leave. Either a contract ended, or a landlord decided to sell the house we were living in, or someone else’s situation has changed which has impacted me.
But, in the last couple of months since I have been looking for a new place to live, I’ve come to realise that home isn’t the place where you eat or sleep or shower, or the place where your stuff and clothes are stored. For me, home is where you feel loved.
Which means, I have a lot of homes.
I am incredibly blessed to have been made to feel part of a lot of amazing families. For example, my great friends David and Rachel – who I met when I was 15. In the 8 years we’ve known each other they have loved me and supported me as a big brother & sister would, and I’ve been able to spend vacations joining in life with their crazy fun family.
Or, my discipler Philippa and her family (another 4 crazy kids!) who over the past two years have welcomed me into their home for meals and evenings chatting over a cup of tea, birthday parties and celebrations. I love going over for dinner after work, and getting to spend an evening playing with the kids and chatting with Philippa about life. A special joy is putting their 3 year old to bed each time, reading her a story and praying with her.
There’s my small group too – an incredible bunch of people who were thrown together by some ‘luck’ of the draw, but over the years we have become a close-knit group of friends who are able to share in the good and bad of life. We have such fun ; meeting up twice a week (and often at weekends too), going away on holiday, celebrating birthdays and special occasions.
For someone like me, who doesn’t have a huge extended family, having so many people in my life is a great blessing. One I should thank God for more regularly. It doesn’t matter where I live, whether I live alone or with someone, because my God cares about me so much that he has connected me into so many places where I feel safe and comfortable – where I feel like I’m home.
And, on top of that, he has blessed me with a new house that exactly fits my “ideal” – the list of things I said to my mum about what I was looking for, which is just yet another sign of how much my God cares about me.