When I was young, I was often homesick.

I hated sleepovers and called my folks to pick me up before the fun started.

I despised Girl Scout camps and feigned illness to escape.

I didn't like being away from home; it left me with an ache in my soul I couldn't put words to.

I still feel homesick when I am away from this place I call home, or when I am away from the people whom I also call "home."

As a child, I felt ashamed for feeling homesick. It seemed so weak, so feeble, so frail.

The further I grow into Christ, the less shame I feel about this ache in my soul.

" ... let me steward well, O God, this homesick gift, as I know my wish for what has been is not some solitary ache, but is woven with a deeper longing for what will one day be.

This yearning to return to what I knew is, even more than that, a yearning for a place my eyes have yet to see.

So let me steward this sacred yearning well.

Homesickness is indeed a holy thing, like the slow burning of an immortal beacon, set ablaze to bid us onward.

The shape of that ache for another time and place is the imprint of eternity within our souls ...

That is the holy work of homesickness: to teach our hearts how lonely they have always been for God ...

Let all your children learn to grieve well in this life, knowing that we are not just being homesick, we are letting sorrow carve the spaces in our souls that joy will one day fill."

Every Moment Holy, Vol. 1, by Douglas Kaine McKelvey

What used to feel shameful was indeed the opening of my young soul to the mystery of eternity.

I didn't realize it back then.

When I feel that familiar hollow feeling in my heart now, rather than give in to fear or guilt that I am not "stronger," I let my sickness for home remind me that I - along with all of you - am made for a home far more solid, far more real and good and true and dense than this one.

And the love I feel for my literal home is a mere inkling of the love I will one day feel for that place for which I have been longing my entire life.

Homesickness is indeed a holy thing ...

Nothing to be ashamed about. Ever.