I had the incredible blessing of coming back to good old Saint Cloud, MN, during spring break. While I was here, for the first time, I referred to The Foundry as home. My mother gave me a strange look, and I realized what I had just said. For the first time in my life, I had identified somewhere besides where I had slept for the first 18 years of my life as my home.
Home is such a strange concept. It is easy to accept your childhood house or town as home. I still get the warm feelings of familiarity when I come back and visit, even though I myself have dramatically changed. There is something about knowing the radio station jingles, the timing of the stoplights, the creaks and quirks of my house that just reminds me of the concept of home.
And yet, I am not home. I have been surrounded by an incredible community at school. I have built a life there, and it continues to challenge me each day to become a better person. I have found another point in my life where I am surrounded by love. The Foundry is certainly a place where I feel at home.
That got me thinking, there are so many places in my life where I have felt at home. Memories flickered through my head of football games, speech tournaments, plays, lunch tables, worship services, and even simple conversations. I could make a case of truly feeling at home in every one of those situations.
Why do we feel at home in random places? Why do we have such dramatic ties to places, people, and even things that no longer have a tie to our lives?
What is a home?
For me, it boils down to one simple truth: Home is where I feel loved.
I am blessed to have a family that celebrates with me when I return for breaks. I am also blessed to have roommates that do the same thing. But it goes much further. I have communities, teams, and even people that love me, and I have found a home in them.
Though my time with them may not be as long as the time I spent in my house, when I return, I fall more in love with those communities, my homes.
I get the same warm tingles when I walk back into The Foundry as when I drive down good old Highway 15 knifing down the middle of Saint Cloud. I feel the same joy in the embrace of my siblings and my speech team. I have had conversation with friends at Northwestern that fill me with the same incredible passion for life that I was inspired with from my high school activities.
I feel at home.
These have become my homes.
They are my homes because I am loved there.
They are my homes because I know I can find love there.
I am so blessed to have places that uplift me with that love. I am constantly learning to spread that love myself, so other people can begin to find their homes through me.
And then it hit me: If my home is the placed where I feel loved, these are all incredible places to be supported, uplifted, and cherished.
But my Home…. that is far different. Saint Cloud, The Foundry, the people in my life, none of these places are my home.
My home has to be in Jesus Christ. I have no clue what that looks like or where it is, but I have to find my home there. I have no other option.
Yes, I love coming home for break and seeing my family, laughing, recollecting, and just living with them for a moment. Yes, I love The Foundry and the incredible ways it has changed my life. Yes, the groups and the people that I find in my life has changed me for the better, and I am always welcome there.
But they are only temporary homes. They are stepping stones to my real home. The Home where I cannot feel anything but love. A Home where I can never leave. A home that I entered many years ago and still find myself in its warm embrace.
I can find “homes” in my life because I have found my Home.
I pray that you can do the same.