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Immerse: Poets - Week 3

I never had what you would call a “childhood home.” When my mom left Virginia, she made the drive to Florida with a few essentials and her 4 year old daughter. It was the first of many moves we’d make together over the next few years. I gained a few siblings along the way, but just like that first move, there were others which had us getting out with not much more than what she could throw in the car.  One of those moves was especially difficult. While my mom worked really hard to take care of us, there was one really tough year which ended in us being evicted from the house we were renting. She wasn’t able to get our things out in time, and everything we owned was piled onto the curb. There was barely any money to get us into our new place, much less a moving truck. My mom also hated letting anyone know how much she needed help. I can’t imagine how my mom felt in that moment, but I do remember being devastated. I cried a lot over losing my toys, and at the risk of sounding like a selfish jerk, I was a little angry at my mom. I was just a kid, and I didn’t really understand what was happening. Everything that made our house our home was just gone in the span of a day. How would we get through that? Eventually we did get through it. My mom reached out for help. We got new “stuff,” and she did her absolute best to make sure our new place felt like home.

Those times that led to us starting over are hard to forget. When reading through Lamentations in this week’s Immerse: Poets, I was instantly reminded of that time when I thought I had lost everything important in my life. My childhood had gone from one of stability to one filled with uncertainty, and I was powerless to change it in any way. The way I felt then was just a fraction of the pain God’s people felt when their lives in Jerusalem were taken from them. Not only did they lose their homes, but they lost their entire way of life. Their culture, including their religious practices, was in jeopardy of dying out. I don’t think anyone would have blamed them for wanting to give up after all of that. I’m sure my mom felt the temptation to throw in the towel a time or two. Thankfully, for our family’s sake, she didn’t and neither did the people of Jerusalem. It wasn’t easy, but by tearing down the walls that formed a city, they were able to build a stronger foundation – one of reliance on God, and not on themselves. Sometimes it takes losing everything you have in order to see what you’re really missing.