Life Lessons: Yearning to Belong – Part 2: Belonging
This hunger to belong is the echo and reverberation of your invisible and eternal heritage. You are from somewhere else, where you were known, embraced, and sheltered. This is also the secret root from which all longing grows. Something in you knows, perhaps remembers, that eternal belonging liberates longing into its surest and most potent creativity.
Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong, John O’Donohue
“You are from somewhere else, where you were known, embraced, and sheltered.”
These were the feelings that kept coming back when I would sink back into the isolation of belonginglessness. I had always attributed it to my hometown – “if only I could get back.” What I failed to fully consider was how closely this paralleled the way God wanted me to feel about Him and reaching heaven. … until I read this paragraph, that is; then, something inside me clicked.
“You are from somewhere else…”
Not my hometown. Heaven – I am (we are) from heaven. Jeremiah 1:5 had so much more meaning now, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” This deep-rooted yearning to belong isn’t there just because I miss my family, it’s a longing that was there the moment I was placed on earth. “Perhaps your hunger to belong is always active and intense because you belonged so totally before you came here.” (EE, p.5)
Let’s back up a moment…
I had never heard of this book, Eternal Echoes, until a few weeks ago, but I may never have heard about it if I hadn’t been in a place of isolation a few months prior. I had spent the summer going, going, going – trying to make things happen in multiple areas. By August, I was spent and felt estranged, even from my husband and children. At the time, I thought I could use about a month to regroup before going at it again. Instead, I ended up taking a longer sabbatical, if you will. My goal was to focus on relationships and following where the Lord led.
Within a couple months, I was invited to attend School of Community with a few other moms in the area. Besides being a safe and encouraging place to learn more about my relationship with God; it was here, where I first heard the above quote by John O’Donohue.
Then the icy walls of isolation began to thaw…
“The arrival of spring is a miracle of the richest colours. Yet we always seem to forget that all of these beautiful colours have been born in darkness.” (EE, p. 14)
It is springtime, both in the outside world and within my own heart. I know it won’t last forever, seasons never do, but I take heart knowing that springtime will always come again.