There were 11 girls. They all sat on couches in the small room around me. This was not their home … but it was where they lived.
My friend Carolyn and I were visiting a girl’s shelter. As I shared pizza with the girls, I listened to their stories, and then talked with them. Each young lady sat there with me because her home is not safe. These girls have experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment. This was a safe place to stay in the meantime, waiting to go home again.
Britney said it, Taylor said it, Connie and Shalonda said it too. They each spoke of it – home. Every girl seemed to hold on to the hope that she would one day go back.
One girl, who just went by initials rather than a whole name, came up to me and gave me a very rigid hug when I was finished speaking. I could feel the bandages on her arms covering the results of self-harm. I could tell it was hard for her to hug me. But I won’t forget what she said:
“Thank you so much for coming in talking to us. I feel like I have hope that I will be home again.”
Home. The promise of home is what fuels these girls; the potential of home is what helps them get up each day. Knowing that hopefully someday they would be home, helps them to persevere through therapy, treatment and face their most awful past and fears. Home does that for us.
It’s ingrained in the human soul to need, want and long for a home. The idea of home motivates us and gives us meaning. Even the precious girls I sat and talked to, who had been so abused and hurt, still longed to go back to their home.
But perhaps what they really longed for is not a dysfunctional place, but rather, they longed for what home represented: Security. Belonging. Identity.
Home isn’t just a place, it’s an instinct. It anchors us. It gives us a Ground Zero.
There is a home we all long for where we’ve never been. It’s a home programmed into our spiritual GPS. No wrong turn in life, no detour, not one path ever changes our ultimate destination. That home is our true north. It is a home that is not made with hands. It was established for us before time began.
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We all long for that home. The ultimate home. Heaven.
Heaven is where our longings are fulfilled.
Heaven is where our faith becomes sight.
Heaven is our rest; our reward.
Heaven is home.
Those young ladies are precious daughters to our Father. He calls them beautiful, and one day, I pray they will ultimately know what it’s like to be home. I believe they will.
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” – CS Lewis
What is your favorite thing about your home? Leave a comment here.