The Concept of Home

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

When I graduated high school, I headed to college. During those four years, I shuttled back and forth between campus, a three-hour ride, and home over mostly two-lane roads. I remember those days well. Driving in my blue Ford Probe. Listening to my cassette tape (remember those?) music mixes. And that feeling that I didn’t know where home was anymore.

For me, home had been a house in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I spent my childhood and adolescence in the same house with my parents and my older brother. It was a happy time. Sure, there were bumps, but overall, I was close to my parents. I think that made it hard when I went to school my freshman year, but I adjusted.

I lost something during those college years—my concept of home.

I knew I didn’t belong living at home in Fayetteville. Yes, college was where I lived, but I knew it was temporary. Where was my sense of home?

Maybe that’s why, during the many drives between my hometown and college, I’d peer into the open windows of houses along the way. Surely those occupants had a sense of home, a sense of belonging.

Even when I graduated college and then graduate school and began my career, I never really felt at home where I lived. When a holiday approached, I’d say something like, “I’m going home to visit my parents.” It bothered me. Why wasn’t home where I was living 98 percent of the time?

The feeling kept persisting as I moved to Atlanta to take a new job. Here I was, surrounded by a completely new city, with few friends and living a long way from my hometown. Yet still, I’d say, “I’m going home for Thanksgiving” rather than “I’m going to Fayetteville to see my parents.”

Finally, it hit me. I had to choose to make where I lived home. Only when I did that would I begin to feel a sense of belonging. Only when I trusted that God would make me content would that sense of belonging come. I prayed about it. And gradually, the suburbs north of Atlanta became my home. I became content to be there, to let God guide my steps.

Not long after that, I met my husband, and when we got engaged, I returned to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Something else happened as well. Home because not a place but a person.

What is home? I think home is where I feel most content, most secure, where I belong. And wherever my husband is, that’s home to me.

We find home when we find our sense of belonging. #authenticity #encouragement Click To Tweet

Question: What is home to you?

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