Some of us have roots that go deep into where we have established a home. We may live not far from where we grew up as children, but others have known many places. For those folks, “the impermanence of home tends to be one of life’s most recurring surprises”.
That has been the life of Bekah DiFelice as the wife of a former Marine. It raises questions many of us have never considered such as: “Is it possible to build a permanent sense of home in a rootless life? If home is where the heart is what can we love that will quiet the restlessness within?”
In Almost Home, Bekah’s first book, she invites the reader into her very personal journey of impermanence and how she discovers resilience along with valuable lessons about love, faith, and relationship that anyone can apply to his or her life whether one that has been rooted in the same place or not.
The experience Bekah shares as a Marine Corps wife immediately resonated with me as one who lived that life and knew the challenge of a husband’s deployment. But Bekah also gave me insights into things to observe now as I live in the place not far from where I grew up.
I love her descriptions in this book related to so many things common to us all. Listen to how she describes adaptation to change:
“Adapting to change is like tucking your knees in when somebody wants to squeeze by your seat, or hitting the brakes for a car to merge ahead of you when you’re already in a hurry. Adapting to change is making room for something you didn’t expect in space that’s already crowded. For most of us, it is painful and annoying.”
Leaving home is something most of us experience at one time or another. In our late teens or early adulthood we rush eagerly to grab new experiences in new places many times and only then begin to discover fully what “home” means for us.
Bekah reminds the reader of how God uses that leaving:
“It’s as if the act of leaving is part of the equipping, as if God personally leads people out of familiar territory so he can tell them who they are.”
So when does home change for us or does it?
“Home doesn’t begin or end with a mailing address or a change in surname. I don’t think it is ever a total reboot.
Home is a lot like a poorly categorized box containing all sorts of odds and ends: the surprising and the familiar, the old and the new, the bitter and the sweet. It is mismatched in so many ways—not a start and end but an overlap, a tangle. We move away from it and bring it with us still.”
How true that is!
Bekah lets us journey with her as a new bride who leaves behind the beauty of the Colorado mountains for the dusty desert of her husband’s first duty station in Yuma, Arizona. Through the pages we experience her loneliness, her search for new relationships, new churches, the anxiety of a husband’s deployment, becoming a mom, and the quest for that illusive sense of home as she defines it.
Just when you find yourself either identifying with her or feeling comfortable with your own settled roots that have never moved very far from your childhood home, she challenges the reader.
“But I think it’s possible to be transient and aloof without ever leaving your hometown. I think we can be settled geographically but transient in commitment, in relationship, in purpose. We can be aimless without traveling, passive by nature, reluctant to strain beyond the discomfort required to produce actual growth.”
If you pick up this book, be prepared to delight in her engaging style of writing, but don’t be shocked when out of nowhere she nails a powerful truth to the page that pierces your heart and consciousness whether you are rooted in one place or transient.
To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.