The Leaving

Wherever we go, we find ourselves, and God. I believe that.

One Amazon reviewer said she felt let down that Ann found herself, and God, away from home. There's that, yes— an odd surprise in a book that dares us to live fully right where we are.

But I take it differently. Right where you are isn't always the place you've called home. It's, well... right where you are.

I think this can be a little shocking; after all, we make our identity in the things we call home, think that's all there is... think that's all we are, all God is.

Then we leave.

In going away, we discover what we could have known all along... about ourselves, about God. It was there to see, wasn't it?

Ann recalls a letter from her father-in-law, asking who is ready. Ready for what? Maybe to live fully beyond the place we've called home? Beyond the person we thought we were? Beyond the God we had so nicely boxed up and put in a special room at home?

When we leave, we find we are not ready. Never will be. Home is too strong. Who we've been is too strong. The God in the pretty little box is too small. Yet, when we leave, we have the chance to discover—like Ann did— that we are ready. And ever will be.

This is a response to the final chapter of Ann's book, One Thousand Gifts. For a thoughtful review of the whole book, join us today at TheHighCalling.

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Blogger Cassandra Frear said...

I love this post. It speaks to me in deep places. You know a little of my story.

This is precisely what I have learned. Even this morning, I thought about how I still feel like I'm in free fall and not sure where I will land or what home will look like, if it will ever be there again for me. And then I thought, "This is one way to know I am very close to following God's plan. It feels like this as one approaches a battlefield where one will engage the enemy." Where did THAT come from? (Answer: the last two years of sojourning)

Just being honest . . . I am being re-made and I don't really know what I will be like when this chapter has ended.

Blogger Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

And ah, the wonder that when we leave home to explore "out there"... that He whispers the same answer that He was whispering at home -- the same answer with the laundry, in the fields, under the moon, at the sink: That it's never a location but a Person -- that it's His presence that makes us fully alive, that in His presence of fullness of Joy.

And wherever I go... I keep coming back to this: "O Lord God, Thou has been our dwelling place..." He is our home, and so we never leave.

Beautiful this, Laura...
Beautiful, you.

All's grace,

Blogger Laura said...

I believe this: God is right where I am. But yes, sometimes I must leave my normal to remember this. I've also been known to tell my husband to leave me for a while so I can miss him! It seems my brain is feeble and cannot hold too much at once.

This is lovely. I have so enjoyed your journey through Ann's book.

Blogger Unknown said...

I have been away from blog-land and so am commenting behind the others...

I appreciate that you mentioned the review I had also read...I certainly didn't agree...it seemed to fit the stepping out when one is bound to one physical home and place, the testing of His presence somewhere so far...

I love all you wrote here...so many touch points and 'Home', my word for the year, as I have been many years in process of re-defining for myself, my world, my family--what are the essentials of home. Never a leaving all behind and yet ever a stepping out as we live in these 'shadowlands' between the worlds we come from and are forever made for.

Trust you are well...I've missed checking in...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

18 months ago, we left our home. like you said, "We find we are not ready." It has been a time where everything I knew about God, learned about God, was put into practice. Like a warrior who trains and goes into battle. God definitely is not quietly in the little box that is my heart - He has burst out of it to protect me, to be with me - as, through battle, I became so much closer.I found that I was weaker than I thought, but in that weakness I found a greater measure of his strength.

You always make me think deeply! Have a blessed Easter.


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