It's hard to figure out depression when you don't feel at home in the world. When you can't wrap your head around setting down your suitcase much less your heavy weighty emotion. I think that's why in the midst of transition I have always struggled to carry everything the most. And I never think of transition as lasting very long. Maybe only to the next stoplight. But sometimes the traveling from one place to the next does. Sometimes it lasts for what feels like an eternity stretching it's fingers beyond simply unpacking your boxes.
And in the midst of all of the human chaos of this year, I wasn't home. I was pining after a home that didn't exist for me anymore. A home with echoes of a previous season full of college friends and the support system of faces who knew me for years. And I sunk deeper and deeper into depression as I clung, fingers turning white, to the old.
We started a series at my church about embracing the new and leaving behind the old. We created a centerpiece in our lobby with polaroid photos of the people in our church. And each week as I unclipped each polaroid from the twine it's hanging on, I've found myself getting emotional. For the past year, I have struggled to make this place my home. But I'm slowly starting to realize that it may be because of how hard I have clung to my last season. I've tried desperately to have both. But maybe I can't have then and a present here.
I've been in a season of learning to call this place my home because it hasn't come naturally. But like what I’m bringing home from church, I'm realizing that to welcome the new I have to leave behind the old. And as I look at each of the photographs, I'm confronted with the fact that these people have become my home. Each of these faces, even the strangers. These are messy, human and honest people. Family. People who have seen me through the past year, witnesses to my growth.
Tonight as I drove home from my community group, I felt happy. For the first time in a very, very long time I can finally say happy. The grace and acceptance I have needed this year is here. It's all around me. I have people right here who look at me and see me as God says he sees me. Who let me stand there.
This is home now. And it feels sweet and right and good. It feels a little like nostalgia for the present.