It was a horrible dream. I had flown somewhere. I was somewhere unknown and unfamiliar to me and we landed in a devastating storm. I remember peering out the windows of the airplane and I gasped sharply as I saw the airplane was submerged under the water and we would have to swim to shore. What's more, I wasn’t a strong swimmer.
As I studied the murky, ugly waters, I gasped again - this time in sheer horror, my breath caught in my throat almost cutting off the circulation from the rest of my body. To my utter disbelief, I saw crocodiles and poisonous snakes meandering and surrounding our plane - some of them looked ominously agitated and hungry.
I tried to scream - tell everyone to stay on the plane but no words would come out. As the people calmly began exiting the plane and casually swimming to a building, I had no choice but to fight the wildlife that was finding it’s way into the plane, struggling to swim to safety and hope that my prayers would be answered this time.
As luck and dreams would have it, I made it to my destination unscathed physically. But I experienced severe trauma to my emotions.
I walked up to a few people I knew in my dream - they seemed to be close to me. I began to share my trauma, my story with them. One by one no one listened. They were all paying attention to something or someone else. One such man even “shushed” me as I was talking to him.
I was utterly and devastatingly alone.
I walked away, my lip quivering and found a tiny cardboard box. Folding my body up into a tiny ball, I lay in this box and I bawled and bawled and bawled. I wanted to tell people my story. I wanted to tell them how happy I was to be alive but how terrified I was to be swimming with the crocodiles and the snakes, and how I thought I wouldn’t come out alive, and no one was there to help me. I was all alone. I wanted to tell them how heartbroken I was that I would never be able to go back home - that I was stuck in this lonely place. And I so desperately missed home already.
I woke up in a fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably. I felt beside me for my husband and then remembered that he was in Taiwan. Even though I realized that the dream wasn't real, I couldn’t control my sobbing. I had been so desperate in my dream. I realized that the dream mirrored the story that seemed to be unfolding in my own real life.
And I sobbed, “When does it get better God? When does it not hurt so much - losing my father
in law? Losing my church, close friends, family relationships, - all of it. When does it get better?”
I felt the Lord very clearly speak to me in that tiny room in my house with the darkness all around me and my heart broken in two. He said, “It doesn't get better. It doesn’t. But it gets different. And the different begins to feel okay and then it begins to feel like home again.”
You see it doesn’t get better. Not a better version of this. Losing my church will never get better. Losing my father in law will never feel better. All of the loss and the change and the hurt - it doesn’t get better.
But it’s like buying a house. Even if you like the house that you bought, you rarely feel like it’s your home the minute you pay your down payment and step across the threshold. It feels strange; like you are staying in someone else's home.
Like you are an imposter.
It doesn’t feel like home until you begin to put up your familiar pictures, until you start to wake up in your bed everyday and look out at the view that you fell in love with. And then one day you scrub your black tile countertop for the thousandth time and run your finger across that one spot that doesn’t seem to get as clean as the rest and you smile. You realize that you are home. You are comfortable. You are happy. You made it through.
You can pass by your old place and all the lovely, fun and deeply moving memories come back to flood your heart and they will never go away. They will always be there tucked in the folds of your heart to recall when you want to recall that old beautiful life. But now you have a new life.
God reminded me of a time a few years ago when he told me that he was reinventing me. This is all part of that reinvention and right now, I am not home. Right now, it hurts. But one day, after I peel away the extra stuff that doesn’t belong there, one day I will look around me and say that it is good indeed.
I will say, I am home.