It feels like home. Peter hugged me close to his chest and I sunk deeper into the embrace, the comforting feeling of knowing he loves me. In the five years or so of hugs we have shared since then, I have experienced the same comfort in many of our embraces.
The connotation of a “home” begins with a physical place, a location of housing where we go when after work. This is what I first think of as a home, but more lies beneath. Home is where I belong. It makes me think of rest, a place to relax, let my guard down, be myself, eat and care for personal needs. When I thought to myself that Peter’s hug felt like home, God used Peter to meet my desire to belong, rest and be cared for. At that time, my family and friends also met that need, but God was at work, rooting a relationship in a sense of belonging to each other.
When I first arrived in Victoria, most of my home stayed behind in California. Nearly everything felt foreign to me: the flat, vast landscape, the overgrown grass everywhere, the ubiquitous Tex-Mex restaurants, and worst of all: people everywhere I went who I did not know at all. I felt out of place and still, after six months, struggle with coming to grips with my new surroundings.
The only familiar face I saw belonged to my Peter who supplied the comforting embrace bringing me home to the place both of our hearts belong. In those moments of being away from the familiarity of California, we clung to each other in the way God designed us to: “[t]hat is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family.” We have been our own family since the day we got married in 2010, but living far away from our parents and extended family has forced us to lean on each other, and ultimately on God who gave us each other, to fulfill the desire for a place to belong. Our home is wherever we are together.