Anchored to the Ground

Feeling at home right where we are

Jul 23, 2023

God Reflections Life Lessons Perspective Community
brown home sweet home wall frame

Photo by Julian Hochgesang

I was leaving the gym on a Wednesday afternoon, walking to my car in the parking lot when it hit me. That feeling that this is where we belong, where we’re supposed to lay down roots. “This” being the town my husband and I live in. It didn’t last very long, that pleasant, comforting feeling, but it lasted long enough for me to feel reassured in our decision to move here almost two years ago. A brand new state, a brand new town, a brand new neighborhood. So much change had taken place in such a short time. It’s hard to feel settled when the ground beneath you shifts repeatedly.

Home. I have been waiting a long time to call a place that. Somewhere I could see myself long-term. Somewhere that felt grounding. I am no stranger to moving. In the span of my life, I have lived in 3 continents, 3 countries, 11 cities, and countless homes and apartments. I left the hometown I was born in when I was 7 years old. Needless to say, I have been looking to feel at home most of my adult life. Though my family of origin unit was intact and I grew up in a loving home, the sizable moves at important developmental milestones in my life nevertheless subconsciously instilled in me a feeling of displacement, an unsettled feeling that lingered. I was left longing for a “room of my own.”

What makes a place, a house, a city feel like home? How do we arrive at feeling like where we live is where we belong? Maybe home for some is simply where they feel safe. Maybe for others it’s where they can see themselves raising a family. And still for others, maybe it’s the setting that calls to them—mountains, a lake, skyscrapers, suburban neighborhoods, open fields. For me, I had been praying about it, waiting on God to give me a sign. I was looking for a sense of community. A place where I saw myself wanting to engage with others, and contribute in a meaningful way.

The more I reflect on this, the more I come to realize that perhaps home is just as much a feeling as it is a physical location.

Could it be a choice we make to remain, to become rooted and plant seeds regardless if the area checks off everything on our “must have” list? What if God is calling us to love on our communities right where we are? To care for the home he has blessed us with instead of looking elsewhere for contentment, which always seems to elude us? What if He is asking us to stay put and stop running, stop chasing the next thrill, the next promise of instant gratification?

I am still learning all of this. How to abide—in Him, in my house, in my town. “Over there” always sounds more appealing. I am practicing the art of being here, feeling the earth beneath my feet and calling it sacred because God placed me here. There are endless distractions that pull us away from the present moment. But God keeps calling us back, inviting us to feel at home in Him above all. We do this one breath at a time, recognizing how our wandering ways keep us feeling disconnected, secluded. We are forever looking to go back home.

Maybe God is calling you to stay and settle wherever you are, to build a nest made of homecooked meals and washed sheets. Of mowed lawns and trimmed trees. Maybe He is inviting you and me to fully inhabit the corner of the world He has planted us and see how we can nurture it and the people around us. For none of us live in isolation; we are part of a larger whole, dependent on one another for our wellbeing.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

~Galatians 6:2

If home is a feeling, at its most basic, it provides safety. At its most essential—belonging. Perhaps I’ll never fully feel at home anywhere until I have found something greater than myself to be a part of. And instead of looking for it elsewhere, I can start searching for it right here, in my own neighborhood, in my own sweet town. Laying down bricks of hope, of sympathy, of beneficence for those I come into contact with. Asking God how I can be used by Him to shine His light.

Our home—however it looks—can become our ministry, the place from which we pour out God’s love.

It doesn’t have to be grand; it only has to be intentional. As we consistently engage in the work God has called us to right where we are, the feeling of home grows. Suddenly, everything begins to feel familiar, welcoming. Our feet feel anchored to the ground that takes us from our house to the grocery store, or the gym, or the dentist’s office. We find ourselves wanting to give of our time and money and resources to the people and establishments around us. And we no longer have the urge to run, or look elsewhere for inclusion. We have found it… or rather, we have built it, one obedient act at a time.