Chapter 18 – Almost Heaven
The Burden of Homesickness
Continuing in my series of blogging through Max Lucado’s book “Traveling Light”.
I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6 NKJV
Please note that this chapter may be difficult to read but I’m sure some of you will understand.
In this chapter Lucado talks about his love and desire for a big dog. And although his wife was against having a big dog, he was eventually allowed to get one. He compared his search for just the perfect dog was like God’s way of chosing us as His own. We belong to Him and this world we live in is not our home.
Homesickness has been a friend of mine for quite some time now. When I chose to move away from Indiana and venture out into the “big” world as I called it back then; at times I was so homesick for my family. So much so I almost moved back. But I’m glad I didn’t because I would have never had my sweet baby Brittany.
When Brittany died I too became homesick. Not homesick like you might understand it in the context of missing my hometown like above, but rather homesick for the home I just lost. Home can mean many things, but at that time “home” meant to me “life”. I felt like my life had been torn apart and every waking minute all I wanted was to go “home”. Back to the life I had just days before. When everything seemed ok.
We were planning for homecoming. Picking out dresses, coloring hair, making plans for the football game. Despite the news we had received a few short weeks before that she was having more and more seizure activity – life went on. We just went back to what we knew how to do – live. Then it all came crashing down on the eve of homecoming and in just 12 short hours she was gone.
She had gone home. Her eternal home. The home I now long for. That homesickness that Lucado eludes to in this chapter is the homesickness I felt so dramatically during those first few months. I longed to be with her. So much so I contemplated taking my own life. I missed her with every ounce of my soul. She was my everything. I wanted to go home.
Often when Brittany was upset about something, she’d say “I just wanna go home”. I always thought that was funny. But in looking back I have a better understanding because home to her meant a place of comfort. A place where she felt safe. I wanted that so much after her death. I just wanted to go home.
I replaced my sense of homesickness with believing it could be relieved by moving back to my home state of Indiana to be by my family about 6 months after Brittany’s death. I had nothing left in Michigan. Even my home had become a prison because I couldn’t bear to live there a minute longer. Every day after work when I came home, I walked into the door and fell to my knees because I could still smell her, feel her presence and knowing she was gone was too much to bear.
At night I couldn’t even go into my bedroom to sleep because over the years since her father and I had divorced I always made sure when I went to bed, I would check on her. I would open the door to her room, kiss her on the forehead and tell her “sweet dreams”. But in the months after her death, I couldn’t even walk to my bedroom because I had to pass her room first. It was incredibly painful to know she wasn’t in there. I couldn’t go and kiss her goodnight. So I slept on the couch for more than three months. I just wanted to go home.
Now as I approach the 4th year of her passing, I still long for home. I still long to be with her. I realize I cannot yet go home as my God is not ready for me to come home yet. In as much as I’d like to think he wants me home, he needs me to be here doing his work. But I must tell you I have no desire to be here and I think that is because I haven’t had a real reason to want to be here. Maybe until now.
It seems as though my job and my friends have made an impression upon me that I need to stay a little longer. That I should want to stay a little longer. So I shall I guess, because really it is out of my hands. Because it is written that our days are numbered and our time on this earth is very short. One day I will see my girl again. Until then I know that God has her safely in his arms and He waits my return just in time.
until next time