Photo by  Eric Gilliland

I want our home to be a place of peace and rest, a safe haven for all who enter. I want people to feel comfortable, to walk in without knocking and open the fridge if they need the milk. I want to sit around our table and on the counter tops and eat cookies and talk and laugh. I want people to feel loved and valued in our walls. I want them to feel Jesus when they walk through the door. 

I have struggled for about a year and a half with these feelings of what I want our home to be. Since my dad died almost three years ago I have grieved, of course, but one way that grief has manifested itself and made its presence very known was in anxiety. My anxiety was centrally focused on feelings of not wanting people in our home. I had a mild panic attack at the mention or thought of hosting a party. Things that I used to enjoy now seemed so daunting that I couldn’t even let my mind venture there. 

We used to host our vGroup each week, but when we moved a year ago we stopped. We were between homes for a while and it made sense to pass the torch so to speak. I have to admit, I felt some relief when our “time was up.” Over this year we’ve tried to still attend when we could but have actually only made it a few times because of schedules and exhaustion. It has been made blatantly obvious that it isn’t healthy for me or my family to not be in community. We’ve missed being a part of a group of people that we love. We’ve missed sharing highs and lows, learning and growing, and eating and praying with our family of believers. The enemy, I believe, used the excuse of grief and the sin of worry to try to distance me from others and I am done! I say no more! God created us to need Him first but to also need other people. We need each other to challenge and encourage. We need others to know when we’re not okay and when we are. We need people. We need the church. 

Now, entering into this season of fall I am looking forward to the future. I am thankful for what the Lord has taught me through a gray season. I am thankful to say that we will be hosting a vGroup again and that I am looking forward to it. I am thankful for a home to open to others. Our home, like everything else, is a gift from the Lord to be used for His glory.