Seeking The Place, whilst The Place seeks us, Part 2

Last night, as I rested my head on Ben’s shoulder, I said, “I am there again.”

“Where again?” he replied.

“You remember about ten years ago, when we were being really pushed in on all sides, and we didn’t know how to move forward, and it was such a huge faith thing, and I said to you I felt like Samwise Gamgee, when he and Frodo first leave The Shire, and when Sam reaches the boundary marking the furthest he’s ever been before, and he stops and says, ‘if I take one more step, I’ll be further than I’ve ever been before out into the world’, or something like that? Remember that? This is that, again. I feel like that, right now.”

We set off a year ago, we thought to go volunteer at a drug and alcohol rehab. We sold or gave away most of our possessions, put the rest in storage. Pulled our son out of school. Ben took a voluntary redundancy from his job. We sold his motorbike and a car. We knew once we got to the rehab, we’d have to trust God and live by faith to survive – no salary. Well, we never got to the rehab. We decided to pull our application just weeks before we were due to move in. We knew it was the right thing to do, but there was no plan B.

So for twelve month, we have been winging it.

We’ve had incredible things happen. Time spent with friends and family. Six months spent caretaking a beautiful 1850’s built mansion and sheep station in Victoria, living in a gorgeous, historic stone cottage with a white picket fence. Travelling thousands of kilometres and seeing things we’d wanted to see for years. Wonderful experiences. But while this has been fun and exciting, this is what most people do for their holidays. Or what they do for a break away from their real life. When this is your real life, when there is nothing to go back to when you run out of money or the fun wears off, it can kind of take the gloss off it a bit.

I romanticised about becoming a gypsy. But this life is far from romantic. Apart from the stresses about money (we still have bills and financial commitments despite having no regular income), the biggest struggle for me has feeling like I don’t belong somewhere. I have this deep longing to be home. To be in my place, the place that’s mine. I don’t even want to go there. I’m over going. I just want to be.

We know we could at any time pull the pin and rent a house, get jobs and put our kid back in school. But you see, we are headed home. There is a place where we belong. And we know we will know it when we see it. We have this dream. We believe there’s a place where we belong, and it isn’t just for us. It’s a place where others can come and stay, a place of refuge and healing and grace. We are listening for that place, for it’s call. It already exists, and it wants us to come home to it, to restore it, to breathe life into it, and to bring all the pilgrims in who are also looking for a place to lose their shit, and get their shit all put back together again.

It’s a big dream, and we don’t know how long the place will have to seek to find us. So we just keep putting ourselves out there, waiting, hoping it will somehow grasp us by the hand, and pull us home into itself. I’m so, so looking forward to that. I feel it searching for us. I imagine myself resting in it, taking care of it, sleeping in the open upon it, unafraid, content and safe. feeding us all from its generous, fertile self. Building it up, girding it around with angels and goodwill and friendship. Holding it lightly, holding it close, as one holds a gift, a treasure, a beam of sunlight.

“If I take one more step, I’ll be further than I’ve ever been from home.”

I don’t know of any other way to get closer to my true home than to keep leaving the familiar, to keep placing distance between me and what I’ve always known, step by step, until at some time, in some place, home and I meet one another on the road.

Home, I am coming to you.

Have a great day,
JO xx

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