It was just about a year ago that I moved to my new home, a house I share with my mother. It’s a lovely house, in a suburb. There’s really nothing to dislike about it. But it’s been a pretty big adjustment for me, having lived in the city center for a number of years. I have a much longer commute to work and to the Dominican priory. I had to find, and join, a different parish. I feel out of place as an unmarried women living among young families. Even when I’ve found activities and events that interest me and that are close to home, I haven’t been able to get out and do things because I get home late in the evening. Or, in many cases, the activities of interest occur during the work week, during work hours.
For many months, I’ve been sort of drifting along, going through motions, without ever having the slightest sense that I belong where I am, that it is really my home. I’ve given in sometimes to discouragement, discontent, loneliness, frustration, anxiety–most of which I’ve tried to cure by just closing myself up in my room with a video game or television show. Naturally, this only increased my isolation, so that I fell into a downward spiral of depression. In trying to numb or distract myself, I also stopped putting God at the center of my life. I became lax in my prayer and religious obligations.
Fortunately, I did have the sense to go to Confession and dust myself off to try again. And fortunately, I also had Lent approaching quickly, and a new focus and purpose to put myself to. Of course, God and His grace are what have seen me through most of all.
So I started praying every day, several times a day:
Lord, please just help me settle down and be more at home here. Help me find ways to become part of this new community and my new parish. Help me find ways to contribute and form new relationships. I trust that you have planted me here for a reason. Whether or not that reason becomes clear to me, please help me to accept my new place and to flourish.
I can’t say that I’ve had any remarkable epiphanies. I can’t say anything has progressed. I definitely can’t say that I’ve discovered the reason for my being where I am. But at least I have my faith and am clinging closer to God’s side once more–and that always makes life so much richer. As part of my Lenten discipline, I am going to keep praying that prayer, along with all my other prayers and observances, and I’m not going to let myself give in to impatience or distrust. I know that the feelings will come, and the temptation to entertain them will be strong. But I’m not going to give in.
So, yesterday morning, as I was going about my business of getting ready for work, I turned one of the music channels on to help get my blood pumping. And this song came on: “Home” by Phillip Phillips. A song I’d heard before but never paid too much attention to. But this time, for whatever reason, I found myself really listening to the lyrics:
Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble—it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
‘Cause I’m gonna make this place your home
It was one of those amazing, unexpected moments when words strike you and move you and seem to have been meant just for you. And you wonder: how did I not hear this before? I know that many people would just shrug it off as a coincidence, nothing important. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there’s no such thing as a coincidence–not in the sense of something unimportant and accidental. So, my spirit has been very uplifted! And I feel sure that my prayer to be more at home has been heard and will be answered.
But, you know, feel free to add your own prayers for me! :)