The feel, the smell, the COMFORT of home is something that always stays with you. It embeds itself behind the walls of your heart, and everything that you see, hear, and experience from the day that you walk out of the doors of your home is always sized up against the tingle you feel when you are HOME. It doesn’t matter if your home experience was a good one- a great one- or just plain horrible. It will always be home- and home will ALWAYS be where the heart is. That is a fact that you just KNOW.
While you’re making plans to leave, you know. While you’re packing your bags, you know. While you’re walking out of the door, and look up at the mailbox outside of the door for the last time, you KNOW. What you don’t know is what will happen when you wake up in a bed that is not your own the next morning. What is not immediately apparent when you make the decision to leave home, is that no matter where you CALL home once you leave the nest, nothing else will ever FEEL like home. The mistake that so many people make is thinking that leaving home will be an easy thing to do. They think that leaving a doting mother or an overprotective father means that they can finally go out into the world and be greeted with open arms- finally free to build a home that you think is better than the one that you came from. It is a hard lesson to learn that there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME.
This process comes with a few tears and requires strength that you have to literally DIG up from within yourself. If you’re blessed enough to endure the revelation that the world was not what you thought it was-but it really was what your mother said it was- you will first stand in shock- finding out for the first time just exactly how strong you are. Then comes the awe- the pride- that swells inside of your chest when you realize that you’ve DONE IT. You have faced the world- you have conquered fear- and you are armed for whatever might come next.
Then, you will realize that it was not you that got you to this place. You understand that if it had not been for the praying going on back HOME- there is no guarantee that you would be where you are. You take in the fact that all of the things you prayed for through the tears that this journey drew out of you have come true. Most importantly, you remember what you learned at HOME- that God answers prayers- that Mom will ALWAYS be praying for you and that Dad has been through this before- and by the grace of GOD- he SURVIVED.
At this point, you will realize what you must do. You realize that this- what you’re standing right in the thick of- is called LIFE. You realize that if you made it this far, you can go on; and not only can you go on, but you can SUCCEED. And all of a sudden, succeeding is all that matters- repaying your family for their prayers- repaying God for his answers- are the most important things that you can do. From this point on, you work- all the while REMEMBERING home- working toward going back there- bringing with you a sense of accomplishment- bearing gifts of KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE.
Only after you have done this will you be able to build your own home. Only then will you know what it takes to fill a house with all of the necessary ingredients to make it a HOME. At that point, you will be ready for the next phase of life- which is encouraging the next generation to spread their wings and do what you have done- only better. You dare them to leave, knowing what they will experience- and wait for them to return anew- to welcome them HOME after they have made a difference in this world.
Leaving home doesn’t always mean leaving to another city, state, or country. It doesn’t even mean that you physically make a move at all. Leaving home can refer to any moment that presents itself as an opportunity to abandon the training wheels that your parents or guardians provide. It is the moment that you decide to figuratively spread your wings and lift your voice without the guidance of Mom or anyone else. I challenge you to follow whatever opportunity that comes your way that leads you to “leave home”…but I also want to offer advice for after you have done so…stay encouraged. Spread your wings- jump- and though you might fall- you WILL get the hang of flying before you hit the ground.