In my strange and mysterious journey of grief I’ve stumbled into something, an odd and most unwelcome emotion, hard to cope with and even more difficult to understand. I can only describe this feeling as homesickness. I’ve shared this before but it feels like I did as a boy when I was spending the night at a friend’s home and it began to get dark. I wanted to be near my home; I was anxious to be with the people I loved and who loved me.
The crazy thing is that the feeling now comes in familiar places—places I love to visit, places in which I live—which makes this emotion most perplexing, because home was always the solution to my homesickness. At these dark moments there truly seems to be no cure. That is when despair settles in for the night.
The saying goes, "Home is where the heart is." So what does that say about where my heart is? My heart is gone and I cannot get it back. Everything in my life seems odd and strange. I’m sure I face this feeling of homesickness because my heart is wounded and disoriented. It doesn’t know where true north is. It doesn’t know where home is.
Loneliness is a form of dying. We’re dying to old comforts, and even familiar places are strange without the one our hearts loved and learned to depend on. My homesickness is for a person who made my heart at ease regardless of where we were. Now, no matter where I am, that ease is missing.
I think this isn’t a sign of sickness but rather of health. It’s painful but it’s also reality, and facing reality is healthy. Loneliness is one form of dying that we all must face at some point in our lives. I’m trying hard to face my loneliness in a way that honors God and makes the most of my condition. I want badly to bemoan my condition, but that doesn’t seem to make much difference or glorify God. I can at least rejoice that God isn’t wasting my homesickness but is using it to fertilize the garden of my life. It’s in this painful emotional state that God's Spirit works for my good and His glory to mix all things together for good. This I trust.
In God's economy the seed dies and starts a new beginning of life, growth and hope. Whether it’s the making of a flower or the human soul, God does not and will not waste our sorrow, grief and loneliness. Our losses are God's way of accomplishing the gains. I’m still homesick, but not without hope. My heart has to learn to find its rest in the Lord alone, and in Him I find my hope, my peace. I wish for someone I could know in the most intimate way, but even if that never happens again, He is enough. Jesus is enough.