I used to think of myself as homeless.
A house is a place with walls and a room that you call your own. A house is a place that will be there when you return from an evening at the movies, a weekend trip to the coast or a college semester spent across the country. A house is cluttered with photos of you and your family, shelves filled with books that you’ve dogeared a hundred times, kitchen cupboards lined with half-eaten boxes of cereals that you can reach your hand into and munch on at 3 in the morning.
For a period of my life, I didn’t have a house. I felt like my identity was stripped – like an old door with the paint scrapped away, left exposed, raw and off the hinges.
Because a home means a house, right? That’s what I always thought. A home is a house that is strong and sturdy and shelters you from the storms, the chaos, the bad people and boogie men.
But who said that’s what home means? Who said that a home implies a house?
For a long time, I didn’t have a house, but I realized that during that time, I was far from being homeless.
Because a home, a true home, doesn’t need to be a house in the suburbs. It doesn’t need to have a front porch or a an official bedroom where you have a mountain of mismatched pillows and blankets.
My home is people. My home is around a table where elbows brush against each other and fork-fulls of pasta are shoved across in an effort to share the best bite possible.
My home is Portland. My home is Bloomington, Indiana, where I went to college for four years. My home is a Starbucks in Chicago, sitting with my godmother as we laugh and eat chocolate-covered caramels.
In my home, the place is arbitrary. That may mean that I don’t have an address that I think of when someone asks, “Where are you from?” It may mean that I don’t always know where I’m going to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas. But that’s okay for me.
My home means that home is never in some far off place. My home can be found right in my present position, because I know that wherever my Father has me, is exactly where He intends me to be.