Seven. I wanted to be seven for one big reason: to attend the big conference in Portland, Oregon. Every year people would leave Boise and drive to Portland for the Thanksgiving meeting. It was either a Northwest or a West Coast regional meeting. The Northwest region consisted of churches from Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and some Canada Provinces. The West Coast region included California and sometimes Arizona and Colorado. For me, it meant meeting new people and FINALLY finding some girls my age to play with!
It was during one of these meetings that I first heard John Mcullough play. John was a young man, a gifted guitar player who was blind. His aunt lived in Boise and we took him home after service one night. I was completely fascinated by him. He was hit by a truck in the early 80s (83? 84?) and I never heard him play again. (He’s still alive). It was a sad and huge loss. I still miss his voice, his guitar, his smile.
Last night I started thinking about John and his song “You’ve Got to Know Where Home Is”. I remember the first time I heard him sing this song — In Portland of course. He sang and my heart began to burst…and before I knew it I was crying. I didn’t know that this song would become a theme in my life. That I would sing this song to myself over and over in some trying times. My entire life I’ve wanted to feel “home”.
You talk about what the Lord’s done for you. And I believe every word is true. But Brother, do you know where home is?
Without explaining our entire theology, “home” meant the church, our particular faith. Outside was not home; inside the safety of the fold was home. I knew that as long as I stayed I would be home. Yet, I never felt “at home.” I felt lost. Misplaced. I never belonged. I was always on a mission to find that feeling of home.
You’ve got to know where home is, the place where God’s made you a part.
When I moved to Portland I thought I’d found my home. I had left my parents, my siblings, my large extended family to be a part of God’s people. I moved in with a family who loved me. Yet, I still didn’t feel at home. I didn’t feel like I belonged. I married the husband and thought that would ease my search for home. If anything, he made me feel less at home. No matter what I tried, I never felt like I had found my home.
You’ve got to know where home is. Cause home’s where you’ll find your heart.
We’d sing this song occasionally. No ONE could sing it like John, but the words still would affect me. I’d sing and cry. Beg for God to please show me what home meant. Give me a vision. Help me find my home. I never could ease the longing for a place to call home. Then I left. I left and the words of this song would bring a pain to my heart. I had failed. I had been “home” and I never recognized it. Until the day Abba changed my heart. When he changed my heart … when I began to live and love … I found my heart. And for the first time in my life, I felt “home”.
I am flying home. To my home. It’s in Portland, but that’s not what makes it home. I’m going home because that’ where my heart is. My heart is in three people who call me mom … the ones I spend my days with answering crazy questions and discussing the deep things of life. My heart is in the man I call the husband. The one who I miss the minute I walk away. Being away from him has been hard and I’m desperately looking forward to seeing him. My heart is in the friends I’ve been blessed with … too many to mention, but not so many that I cannot feel connected with them. My heart is in my family, no matter how close or how far apart we are. My heart is in the shelter of Abba, the embrace of my Jesus and the comfort of the Spirit that flows in and out of my life.