Updated: Jun 15, 2021
By Ana Nunez
God's Brave Women - Ana's Story
It’s perplexing to enjoy my life and still experience a strange longing for home; a vague sense of something aching and yearning for where I know and am known.
This is my happy place; sitting in the coffee shop of my dreams that is infused with history and beauty, a good book before me that lays out my favorite story, new conversations with old friends, songs I love playing in my ears, in a state I have always cared for, a new city to explore just outside, solitude and time to think and pray and plan and work.
I am happy to be here.
But I long for home.
"I am happy to be here.
But I long for home."
Maybe because my life has been chaos and nonstop changes for the past few years, so the grounded and whole and peaceful life I’ve built in the past few months is wonderful to me.
Maybe because following Jesus means signing up for a life full of trial. Not just any trial, but the fiery, blistering, sweltering kind. The blessing, however, in trial is that it gives us the opportunity to marvel in the goodness and strength and nearness of God.
And yet, the illusions of what I deeply long for on this earth, travel and literature and beautiful aesthetics and nature and loved ones and even good coffee – all will turn into idols if I let them. If this earth was my means to an end, it would break my heart over and over again. It already has.
"The illusions of what I deeply long for on this earth... all will turn into idols if I let them. If this earth was my means to an end, it would break my heart over and over again."
If the good things end with themselves, I would be left overindulging and coming up empty and hopeless each time. The truth is, experiences may be good, but they pale in light of home.
All of life, both the good and bad point me to the only thing that satisfies me: God.
"All of life, both the good and bad point me to the only thing that satisfies me: God."
Everything points me toward home. And I will always ache for it when I’m absent from it.
"Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling..."
(2 Corinthians 5:2)
While part of me longs for a return to the laughter of my siblings and the embrace of my mother and the comfort of coffee in my mentor’s home using my own mug, I'm not talking about a place with walls and a kitchen and a few rooms where the people I love live.
I’m talking about the place where I will see my King face-to-face. The one with no more mourning, crying, or pain. I am speaking of the eternal Kingdom, the place where all will be made right in me. I am speaking of wherever Jesus is. Heaven, the new earth, wherever he is, is where I am longing to be.
That longing at times has been so deep and intense in me. Like deja vu, like nostalgia, like a foreigner who has been evicted from their homeland. I desire home deeply and painfully.
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.”
This initial longing has led me to a second. I long for purpose. I long to make an impact, inspire, affect, change, build, create. I long to use any and every gift in me to be a part of making a new world, a part of bringing my true home to this earth.
"This initial longing has led me to a second. I long for purpose. I long to make an impact, inspire, affect, change, build, create. I long to use any and every gift in me to be a part of making a new world, a part of bringing my true home to this earth."
The first ache drew me to the second pain, and they forced me to find an outlet. Something that would take me close to the Kingdom on earth. It's why I started writing. It's why I love to read. Because that's where I feel closest to home. That's where I feel closest to the King and nearest to His heart.
In life we all have a choice.
We will either consume: drain the people around us in search of filling, overuse entertainment, abuse substances, obsesses over lifestyles that give false worth in order to fill the void. Or we will outpour: we will press into our calling, into heaven here on earth, into God and what he's placed inside of us.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
He holds all creativity, all justice, all beauty, all power, all ability, all dreams. When we are walking in our gifts, in our passions, we are literally walking as beings made in His image, in His likeness, as an image bearer with the mark of His qualities. And in that, we are quenching the restlessness that has taken up residence in our souls.
"When we are walking in our gifts, in our passions, we are literally walking as beings made in His image, in His likeness, as an image bearer with the mark of His qualities. And in that, we are quenching the restlessness that has taken up residence in our souls."
Rest assured, it will be there till the day we see Him face-to-face. But until then, it’s okay to embrace the longing we experience inside.
We can practice this new art of brave. We can be brave by refusing to be satisfied with anything less than home. We can be bold enough to say this world is not enough for me.
"We can be brave by refusing to be satisfied with anything less than home. We can be bold enough to say this world is not enough for me."
When we live out this calling He's placed on our life, heaven is coming down through His children. It’s a way of letting the Kingdom of God be the Kingdom in us. I’m sure of this for my own life and yours.
“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things – the beauty, the memory of our own past – are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not visited.” – C.S. Lewis
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Ana is passionate about helping Christians take Biblical knowledge & put it into practical action in their everyday life, helping them to love God & their neighbors more deeply by sharing words of love, truth, praise & justice. She is a student of social work & volunteer in a Christian non-profit ministry, which informs much of her writing & passion to mobilize the body of Christ. She pours into businesses, organizations, and ministries through the written word and has experience in article, devotional, book review, and blog post writing. She is passionate about topics such as walking with God, mental health, politics, theology, and women in ministry.