Have you ever been home sick? Do you remember what it feels like?

I do.

We set out on a gals adventure this past week. My husband, our young sons, our sick daughter, and even our dogs were left slouching and watching our descent down the driveway. The roadway embraced our truck and lay before us pointing east. We haven’t been back to my hometown since last August’s departure to Latvia.

During our reunion–I’ve been hugging my parents a bit tighter, savoring family dishes longer, and clinging to the moments we’ve spent with them. Why do the moments like this have to tick by in such a frenzy? I cannot keep the hour hands still and yet, I long to.

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before, but homesickness once bound me over a long twenty-year span. I used to begin our job relocations with the brightest of hopes and then within months–I would sink to my knees pleading to go home. I never intended to settle into those feelings. My husband and I sought God’s will in our moves but we never asked Him to take away my homesickness. Looking back, we may not have gained an answer because we never asked the question.

Tonight, I’m remembering a momentous event–when I did ask and those chains fell from my weary heart. Only four years ago, I shut my eyes tight and made a decision–entrusting my mother’s care to God and my step-dad. I remember letting go of her hand and leaving her side–lighter and free. My broken co-dependency now stood ready for its next grueling test.

This return to my parents’ home, reminds me of the roots I’ve sprung from and how draining this three-year journey has been. In addition to the international trips, we’ve traveled to three states in an RV, and endured two more moves. I’m grateful to admit that I haven’t been home sick. God heard many a prayer during those events though. He even answered my prayers for this simple retreat. For over two weeks, I asked my Father for more rest and my tiny voice was heard.

Wow, how will we ever conceive how much He loves us? He sees our falling tears, knows the desires of our hearts, knows how many hairs are on our heads, and listens our peeping voices. Doesn’t that knowledge prompt us to love Him all the more? It may sound funny to you, but I pray we will all grow more homesick today. I pray we will become more homesick–not for certain people though, familiar places, or even a healthier church family. I pray our hearts will ache for something else entirely. I pray our hearts will yearn in a childlike kind of homesickness–the kind that leads straight to our Heavenly Father’s arms. May He become our dwelling place today and always–for nothing else will ever compare.

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21