When Your Heart Feels Homeless by @MandyJHoffmanI placed the smooth stack of sheets used only for guests into the bottom of the sturdy cardboard box.  Then I pulled one of the six extra quilts from the cabinet and stuffed it on top before closing the flaps and sealing it with a strip of packing tape.  As I picked up the black Sharpie to mark the box, the tears plummeted off my cheeks, spotting the dry cardboard.  All of a sudden my organized packing was halted by a wave of emotion. Here I stood in the middle of Abby’s room filling boxes with all our guest towels, sheets, and blankets and feeling overwhelmed by a simple decision – do I label these boxes with pink tape designating the contents to Abby’s room or with orange tape marking them for the living room?

Such a simple question.  Yet the more I allowed myself to think through it, the more I felt anxiety grasp a hold of my body.  My thoughts played a mental game of ping-pong going back and forth between marking the boxes pink since the contents were currently in Abby’s room or marking it orange to just be placed in the our new living room with other items without a definite room assignment.

Pink or orange?  Orange or pink?

Then guilt kicks in.  Why am I stressing over this silly question.  I have guest towels to pack – what a blessing! – so who cares what room they end up in.  But in those moments when time seems to stand still, my mind does not focus on the practical, but rather the unknown.  I am packing up all my belongings and I have no idea of what my next home will even look like.  I am trying to put together a puzzle without having any clue as to what it is supposed to look like.

I feel homeless.

I am not homeless, and I know that, but my heart feels homeless because of the unknown.


I am clinging to the fact that the very God who created the world, who hung the stars in space, and who gives me each and every breath I inhale, WILL provide another place for us to call home.  While I have no clue how many bedrooms and bathrooms it will have, what the floor plan will look like, or whether we will buy or rent, I know that God will take care of us. As I slowly strip things off the wall, pack things into boxes, and turn this home back into just a house, I am being reminded that God is my refuge.

He is my home.  He is my EVERYTHING.  He is all I need. I do not need floor plans.  I want them, but I do not need them.  Instead, I NEED Christ.  I need the hope that no matter where I live in this world it is not my home, I am just passing through on my way to an eternal home in the presence of God forever.  I need Christ’s peace with God to live in the midst of chaos and stacks of boxes.  I need His comfort that far surpasses any beauty a well decorated room can offer.

Fast forward two weeks…

For fourteen days I have struggled with all these emotions.  Moment by moment I fought to cling to His sovereignty.  Daily I had thanked Him for what He was doing even though I did not understand.  There were times when my heart felt homeless but through the strength of Jesus Christ working in my life I clung to the truth that God is a sovereign God and would not leave us hanging.  Sure enough, weeks before we thought we would get an answer, the phone rang and someone had a phone number for a house for rent.  Within five days my heart went from feeling homeless to dreaming of new bedroom layouts.

This is just another monument of God’s gracious provision for our family to polish as we watch Him write our story.  My desire for sharing this is that you, too, will polish this monument of God’s greatness with us.  Let this story strengthen your faith as you wait for Him in your own life.  Remember that when your heart feels homeless…HE IS YOUR HOME.

Always.  Forever.


8 Responses to Homeless

  1. kalynbrooke January 12, 2014 at #

    Beautiful, Mandy. Moving is such a transition, and we never felt “at home” until about 6 months after our move. I’m praying this process will be smooth for you, and that God will continue to guide your lovely family!

  2. Rachel O'Neill January 9, 2014 at #

    Praying for you friend! As always I am encouraged by the Lord’s clear working in your life, and your quickness to turn to Jesus in all of life’s ups and downs. Love you!

    • Mandy Hoffman January 9, 2014 at #

      You are too gracious, Rachel! It may feel “quick” from the online perspective, but I’m a “hot mess” full of tears filled with sadness and joy…BUT in it all it’s Him working in my life…not me. I just pray that our story can help reassure those going through similar situations to cling to God ’cause He’s got it all!

  3. Trina Holden January 9, 2014 at #

    How well I relate to the feeling of being homeless. Even when we had our home bought and on the property, we were camping till it was ready for occupants, and my heart was raw with not having a place to call home and meet my family’s needs in. I told myself I was being ungrateful, for we had food and shelter aplenty. But I think it’s natural to crave home–and your post explains why. Home is a deep hunger placed in us to ultimatly draw us to our Father. Thanks for being gracefully authentic here.

    • Mandy Hoffman January 9, 2014 at #

      Trina…thank you. I know you do understand with fresh emotion what this is like. I am humbled that this post made any sense at all…sometimes it is too hard to put things into words. Looking forward to the day when we’ll have our permanent home as neighbors in Heaven!

  4. Becky Daye January 8, 2014 at #

    Beautiful post, Mandy! So thankful for how close God is in those times when we can’t see where the next footstep will land. I’m excited for you- for the newness of what God has in store. You continue to be in my prayers. Much love!

    • Mandy Hoffman January 9, 2014 at #

      Oh Becky, thank you for your gentle words that breath life into my tired heart right now. I am so thankful for the circle of friends God has in my life. While it’s a wide, stretched otu circle, it is knowing you are there that is such a sweet blessing. Hugs to you!

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