It’s been a really long time since I’ve felt like I’ve had any words to share. But last week I found an old blog post—one about these times of quiet, these times when we are tempted to feel lonely but are actually invited into the presence of Jesus Christ alone.
When I wrote that post all those years ago, I knew that Christ was near. I knew that I was desperate for Him. I knew that He saw me and that He understood and that He cared. I knew where I stood with Him. I walked confident with Him even when I wasn’t sure where I was going. I didn’t know that I was walking straight into a season that would cause me to question all of those things. Looking back I can see that it was the kindness of God that assured me of His perfect presence at that time–like He was preparing me for the trial that He knew was to come.
It was quiet but it was secure.
But this season? This season has been different. I haven’t realized I was in one of those quiet times with the Lord because life has been louder and faster and, in many ways, fuller. But my insecurities and uncertainties have been ricocheting around recently. I’ve had to duck. Those nearest to me may have caught some shrapnel. I haven’t slowed down enough to notice how quiet Christ’s voice has grown. Perhaps I haven’t slowed down because of how quiet His voice has grown. I’m afraid I’ll miss Him. I’m afraid I have missed Him. It’s not that I doubt He is good or present. It’s not that faith feels a lie. It’s just that I’m not really sure what to say to Him. I’m not really sure how to be with Him.
I miss that strangely quiet season because of the way that I knew Him then. I want that back–that easy camaraderie, that comfortable friendship, that unfailing trust.
I was telling a friend the other night that in a lot of ways I feel like I felt when I came back to Houston after college and would go to my parents’ house. I knew I was welcome. I knew they were glad I was there. But things had shifted. Life was different. I was different.
I knew that I belonged, but I wasn’t sure how I fit.
I can see it, feel it. Standing awkward at the front door of a house that had been my home. Waiting for someone to let me in while a key sits idly in my purse. There was a day when I would have pulled around back. I would have opened the garage and come in the door that was never locked anyway. But for some reason I’ve parked my car out front and I stand here waiting to be welcomed into a house where I have never been a guest.
And while I stand, biting my lip and curling my toes is hesitant hope, my Father sits inside waiting, too—waiting for a child who hasn’t wandered far but who has somehow forgotten she needn’t wander at all.
“Come in!” He yells it loud so I can hear it through the imposing door.
He could open it, I suppose. But perhaps He knows I need to remember the access I’ve been given. Perhaps He knows I need to pull my car around back and enter the way I’ve always entered.
Perhaps He knows I need to recall that I am not His guest but His daughter.
So I walk around the house like daughters do, to the back door. It is battered, worn by daily use. Behind it lay memories and while not all of them are pleasant and none of them are perfect, they are mine. They are family-moments, familiar and intimate and real.
I know as soon as I step inside that I am home.
I set my things down and expect to shout to find the Father I’ve come searching for. But He’s already there. Right there. Reaching for me before I’ve thought to reach for Him. It’s not the formal greeting reserved for guests. It’s the casual, encompassing embrace reserved for a child—for His child.
I release the breath I didn’t realize I was holding. And my body relaxes. And I let myself rest instead of resist. Because I am safe here. And wanted. And welcomed.
And here—held tightly here by the Father—here is where I’ve always fit.
Are you standing at the door yourself? Waiting for a welcome you’re worried may not come? Has the familiar become the foreign? Might you find your way around back? Enter your Father’s house and remember it is your home?
It could be the One you’re waiting for is right inside, waiting to welcome you as His own.