Have you ever moved? Likely. Have you made the move fairly far away from family and friends? Probably, college is pretty common. I haven’t lived in the same place for more than two years since I was 18. That is ten years. My husband can boast the same except for him it has been 16 years.
Now here I am having moved again about twenty months ago. I still feel like an outsider looking in. Almost every place I’ve moved I’ve become close with someone. In some cases I have even felt what I call “the click”. Anne Shirley, the famous fictional character from L.M. Montgomery, calls it kindred spirits. I can’t perfectly describe it for you, but it is something within you that just knows that this person relates to you, and you won’t have to wade through small talk for very long. I have yet to find that person in D.C. I’m frustrated by that. Many people have been perfectly amiable and spent time with me. They are even in similar life stages but something doesn’t line up. It isn’t that I don’t like these people; I just don’t feel the sweet connection I have felt with others thus far.
After four weeks back in my native city of Chicago all of this is amplified. I cried to my husband after our first night back that I wanted to go home.
“Like back to Chicago?” he said.
“Yes.” I replied. “And no. I want to go to the place that my heart will rest. My heart is tired.”
The old saying goes “Home is where the heart is.” As cliché as this may be, I don’t think it is far from the truth. My heart is restless because it doesn’t have a home. If you asked anyone, many people would cite their family as that place, but not everyone has the luxury of living close to family so when they leave or you do, there goes home. Others can’t even say that about family.
I had a conversation about this with a friend recently at a wedding. She has moved to Michigan from Illinois. Her husband asked her after conversing with her about relationships, “So basically you are just waiting for the perfect one?” Yes, was her answer.
We know it exists too, she and I, because we’ve had these friendships that click and go deep before we’ve said a word but time and space and marriage and babies and moves have changed those friendships. To be quite honest I want someone close by and the many women who I’ve had this special closeness with are now married and far so naturally they have become close to their husbands. Staying in touch doesn’t come naturally. It is work on both ends. Furthermore, there is nothing that replaces nearness. I have one friend that is an exception and I think it is because we so intentionally stay in touch.
Today, as I was cleaning the kitchen, I felt a sudden relief because God spoke to me and said, “You don’t need to depend on those people, or places, or special click for rest Anna. You have me.”
My joy does not rely on this earth and my home is not here. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still want those friendships but it reminds me that those friendships and places are only a shadow of my true home where my heart will sincerely rest. I’m not saying that you or I should give up the longing for intimacy with others. Keep it. But instead of looking for someone that perfectly fits you, abandon that and be friends with whoever, wherever because the person that gets you most made you. You may come across those “click” relationships again, but dear heart you are free from needing it. Free to be friends with people of all sorts, kinds, and types. In the meantime, while waiting for the click your life will be enriched by the effort it takes to get to know someone who is not like you. It won’t be easy. It will be hard and “the hard is what makes it great.”
I confess, it will often feel like you do need that super special connection or you can’t go on here or be happy. While you are thinking all of that, time is slipping by and you are living somewhere else with someone else in your head.
*I’m not trying to do the whole Jesus is your best friend thing, but he made you. Created you. No one knows you better so know one can fulfill you better. Even Jesus got sad and lonely and missed home because this earth is not our home. Our heart is only home when it is with the Father.