Is Home truly where the heart is?
What if your heart is in two different places? I love our home here in Idaho. The house has many aesthetic features I never thought I’d own and the Treasure Valley is beautiful as well. Boise is known as The City of Trees and is edged by the Boise and the Owyhee Mountains. The climate is mild, relatively speaking for a northwestern area. We have almost two hundred days of sunshine a year. Considering we do have three months of winter, that’s a lot of sunshine.
The other plus, Idaho doesn’t harbor painful memories as my hometown in Oregon does. I don’t drive around a corner and get slapped in the face by a reminder of one of many heartaches. Both the climate and the environment is healthier for me here in the Treasure Valley of Idaho.
However, my closest friends and family are in Oregon, a seven-hour drive through deserts and mountains without the benefit of a freeway and very few towns. The distance is marked in hours from one landmark to another. It is a trip no one takes on a regularly, only once a year, maybe twice at best.
And so, my heart is in two places: here in Idaho where I am the happiest day to day and in Oregon with my friends and family.
“The spirit of wisdom comes, not to put our plans in place according to our wants and desires, but to guide us towards what most sends us into holiness.” Sr. Joyce Rupp O.S.M., Living Faith.
God is far more concerned with the state of my soul than with my happiness. Yet, he has led me to a happy place, although not perfectly happy. That will happen only in heaven.
Still, when I follow where he leads, even if it is far away from loved ones, I am happier than if I follow my own paths. When I am in union with his will, he gives strength and comfort. When I am outside his will, I encounter unrest and despair.
My heart fills with mixed emotions with each visit back to my hometown. On one hand, I don’t want to leave. I want to take back the life I had before the tragedies and the heartaches. I want to keep my family close. On the other side, it hurts to remember what was lost, and my heart is conflicted my entire visit, often accompanied by tears.
I have no answer to this dilemma, except to leave it in God’s hands. Ephesians 2:19: “You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but…members of the household of God.”
I am not a stranger here in Idaho. I am home in and with God.