Finding Your Home In God

By Liv Holloway

We bought a house this year. 

Even as I write this, it’s still hard for me to believe. A process we thought would happen rather quickly ended up dragging out for almost two years. As we watched, waited, looked, and longed for where we would reside, I grew discouraged and dizzy by the multiple rejected offers, dashed hopes, and lack of clarity. It was especially difficult to engage with the Lord during this season, as many of those places felt like the Spirit himself whispering, “This is it.”

Until it wasn’t. 

I remember meeting with my spiritual director in the midst of this dark season of waiting and wondering, admittedly stiff-arming my Creator as I tried to sort through what was next for us. As we discussed my relationship with the Lord, she pressed me with a couple of questions. The first I expected. She asked, “How would you say you see yourself in relation to God?” I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something along the lines of my identity in Christ and how I am seen and loved.

How does God see himself in relation to you?

She then flipped the question to, “How would you say God sees himself in relation to you?” The question struck me. I had never considered how God himself might view our relationship or even his being in relation to me. In a moment, the picture was clear:

He is at home in me. 

And I am at home in him.

Think about what it means to be at home with someone—a parent, a spouse, a soul-deep friend. Think about how that person makes you feel at ease, not needing to prove or offer anything. You can just be. It occurred to me that the Maker of my heart lives there without any pretense, self-consciousness, or air of contempt. He doesn’t reluctantly stay, hoping I do more of what he expects or offer some placating pleasantries to make me feel better. He is not surprised or disappointed by who I am and how I’m wired. Rather, he is happy to be at home in my heart. 

As I continued to wrestle with our placelessness in the housing search, I began to realize I had what I needed regardless—a haven, a place of retreat in my heart at any place and at any time. I already had a harbor from the storm-tossed wanderings of my life, an anchoring in every tsunami of chaos. It is in his holding that we are held, and this picture of him being at home in me ironically brought me home to him—or in the words of the Irish poet John O’Donohue, “back home in the house that we have never left.”*

Father, I know
that in our homelessness
you are at home in us
that at any time, in any place
my heart has a haven.
I can have peace and retreat
in your presence.

Liv Holloway cares a lot about the deeper things of life. She lives in Minneapolis. @liv.holloway

*John O’Donohue, “The Eyes of Jesus,” in To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (New York: Doubleday, 2008), 219–220.

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