Both of my older girls worked hard.
During the busiest, craziest week we had so far this school year, both girls picked campaign slogans, drafted their speeches, typed them out, edited them and practiced until they were just right.
They both finished their homework quickly and then clocked over two hours a piece in between evening activities to design and create their campaign posters.
One of my daughters won the student government officer election at her school.
The other lost.
These kinds of unbalanced victories are tough for us. With two overachievers so close in age, it’s never easy to cheer and console at the same time.
But we did it.
I watched them climb into the minivan and I knew it right away. One girl had a bouncy step and smile. One girl held herself together until she flopped down into her seat and started to cry.
It probably wouldn’t have been so bad, except a mean boy rubbed the loss in my younger daughter’s face and called her “dumb.”
Life can sure be disappointing sometimes. People sure can be cruel, trodding all over you when you’re already down in the dust.
So, I whisked them right from school to Subway (their favorite meal) and then did one better: milkshakes for everyone. Because we needed it. Somedays, you just need a milkshake with whipped cream and a cherry on top.
And then we went home.
That’s where we hugged and we congratulated and we reassured. We looked into big blue eyes and spoke words of courage: “I’m so proud of you no matter what. You did awesome. You were amazing. Sometimes we don’t win, but we have to take pride in how hard we worked and how we did our very best and our best is always good enough.”
Home is where you can celebrate and everyone joins in and cheers for you because they’re all on your side.
Home is where you drag your disappointed heart with its hurt and sadness, and it’s safe here. You are hugged. You are loved without conditions and expectations. These are your people, the ones who are for you. The ones who won’t mock your tears or tell you to ‘buck up and just get over it.’
Home should be the safe place. The united place. The place where being you is being enough.
Of course, Home isn’t that way for everyone. And that’s the great tragedy. It must break God’s heart to see how Home sometimes hurt instead of heals.
But at least here in my space, in my life, for my family, I want Home to be the refuge God meant it to be.
I read in Psalm 90:1, how Moses prayed to God. He said:
“Lord, through all the generations you have been our home” (NLT).
I’ve read this in other translations before. The ESV says the Lord has been our “dwelling place” and the HCSB says the Lord has been our “refuge.”
But I let that word “home” echo a bit and think about what it means for God to be Home for me.
My safe place.
The place where I abide, live, dwell…where I relax and be myself, where I kick off my shoes and plod around in my white socks, where the masks are off and people see the real me, where I wash off my makeup, where I mess up sometimes and ask for forgiveness from those who love me still.
God is my Home.
He’s celebrating our victories.
And He’s wrapping us up in arms so big when we unload the disappointment, hurt and sadness we’ve been carrying on our shoulders.
In a world where we can feel judged and criticized, like people are always jumping in with suggestions of how we should be, where bullies and mean girls set themselves against us, God is our Home.
He loves you as you are. He says you’re beautiful. He says you have value and worth and He’s proud of you and He’s seen it–all of it—all your hard work and effort–and He says it’s good.
I wonder what it was like for Moses to write that God was his home?
Moses–the slave baby sent into the river on a basket, raised by an Egyptian princess in a palace where he didn’t quite fit in.
Moses–the murderer turned fugitive, who spent 40 years out in the wilderness tending sheep and living outside his community.
Moses–the leader of a nation that spent another 40 years wandering around the desert, pitching tents, moving on and never lingering in one place for long.
For the unwanted, for the outsider, for the broken, for the sinner, for the prodigal, for the wanderer, for the leader, God was Home.
God is Home.
P.S. Turns out that my daughter didn’t win the officer election, but still gets to be part of the SCA as a class representative! A new day and a fresh perspective helped her feel much better.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2015 Heather King