There was a time when coming home was heavy with grief. My days were spent with white knuckles, mapping out my escape route.
Every time someone asked if I was ever coming home, the knot in my stomach tightened. I faked a smile with my shrugged shoulders, but I knew the answer.
It seemed impossible to ever be here and not be miserable, not wish that here was anywhere else.
But plans change and sometimes we become the person who returns to the place we spent years running from only to realize that those monsters aren’t so scary once we turn on the light.
That when I look back on the last few years I did not get the things I wanted. That while I sat yelling for God to take away the monsters, He taught me instead to turn on the light. For a long time, it seemed cruel and merciless, but it turned out to be the thing that brought me to the doorstep of a place I never thought I could return to because I was no longer afraid of the dark.
Fear does not win, darkness does not get to stay, and thanksgiving becomes our song when we find ourselves trusting that there is a reason for what seems like delay, unexpected answers, silence.
There was and has always been a reason, many reasons. That I might learn the touch of God who would lift my arms in darkness and teach me how to find the light. That I would not live believing in a distant God who simply sweeps out monsters without showing me that they are not meant to hold me down, keep me paralyzed, keep me from putting my feet in places I love and with people I’m meant to know. To take away my fear, to give me the courage to walk into rooms of darkness and turn on the light for somebody else.
That home does not have to be our enemy, the place of our deepest pain and disappointment. The thing that we dread, the darkness we can’t reach out in, the room in which we feel paralyzed. That home oftentimes feels like the place in which we see our prayers answered least, God’s silence most, but is the place when we learn to turn on the lights, we will see those monsters are just shadows.