Growing up in a home where you were told you weren’t wanted can leave you feeling like you don’t have a real home.
I always had the gift of gab and loved to chat and talk, and spent most of my childhood talking to myself, creating characters, and writing plays and stories. It was an escape from a place where I never belonged. We often don’t talk about children who grow up in troubled homes but I did and I learned at a young age to keep quiet about it. What I really wanted more than anything was to feel I had a home. I used to carry my rag doll around and wonder if other children didn’t feel happy in their home.
The concept of “coming home” wasn’t lost on Jesus. He would often heal people and then tell them to show themselves to a priest so that they could be restored to the community of faith. We are social beings and God created us to be in relationship with each other and, most of all, with Him.
As an adult I realized that the scars I bore really took a toll on me and my adult life was filled with people who all seemed to stay for a short time and leave. I tried to go to many different churches and studied many faiths but I never felt like I was home. I was lost and lonely and just wanted to “go home.” I didn’t know where home was and had no idea where to look. I married and had three sons but that inner gnawing for something more was inside of me. It was a dark emptiness that kept asking if there was something more than the life I was living.
Suddenly my oldest son was killed in a car accident and my husband filed for divorce. I was faced with a deep spiritual crisis. I felt as if I had lost my faith and no longer believed in God. It was as if I was in a dark room and my faith exploded and I was trying to put the pieces together without anyone to help me and no light to guide me. The doubt and deep grief were made worse because I had no church family to help. It is so important to reach out when we are in crisis and allow others to help us. Sometimes the greatest gift we can give to someone is to accept their help. I was always afraid to do that because I thought that I would find people I cared about and then they would push me away or not want me. I really blamed myself for being unwanted as a child.
Back to my Roots
The Holy Spirit was working inside of me all my life because I wanted to go home but wasn’t sure where I could find a place where I would be loved and accepted. That longing was the Holy Spirit leading me home. I then remembered that I was baptized in a Lutheran Church as a baby. I thought that maybe I should give the Lutheran faith a try. I looked up where churches were located and visited one nearby. The people were very friendly but I didn’t feel it was “home.” I then asked God to help me and let me know when I was where He wanted me. I was going to visit another church 20 minutes away.
The day I came to Faith Lutheran in Grand Blanc, Mich. for the first time, we had a horrible blizzard. I was so upset because I knew, at this point, that I wanted to go there and visit the church. I left an hour early and inched my way there. The 20 minute drive took 60 but I was glad I came. The minute I walked through the door I saw a welcome center. Several people immediately said hello and I felt a feeling of love wash over me. It was a feeling I have never had in my entire life. I was “home.” I have never left and I soon took the “Life With God” classes and became a member on Palm Sunday.
I still struggle with feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem now and then but I know I can feel those things and they do not change the truth that God has shown me: I am home, I belong, I am wanted, and I have much to offer.
It’s OK that I get sad sometimes because feelings don’t define me or my faith. God has told me I am loved and I feel it through the people who are my family. I believe in God and His word. This is truth. God loves me and led me home. Thanks be to God.
Rev. Todd Biermann adds, “What a JOY it is to have Lorrie in our Faith family, where she DOES belong! It was my delight to remind her that her place is guaranteed by Jesus, 100%. NO failures or inadequacies could deny her a place with us. Jesus made her perfect. She belongs completely. Our shared joy is growing! I praise God for bringing Lorrie and her remarkable gifts to us. Her smile alone (not to mention her involvement on the altar guild and other ways) is a regular source of blessing to me and our whole Faith family.”