We sang this hymn as part of stake conference last month. I was stuck by this last verse, particularly the last couple of lines. I was so touched by the message, of wanting to feel at home in the presence of God and the Savior, like a child who feels the comfort and safety of returning home.
I have been thinking about my kids, and my role as mom, a lot. The kids are growing up so quickly. One of the things that hit me this spring is how hard it sometimes feels to get everyone to the necessary appointments/activities/meetings. It gets particularly tricky when they each have different places to be at the same time. I certainly couldn't do it without countless friends and neighbors who help so willingly. My older kids are becoming more independent and have taken big steps in getting where they need to be independently. Liz is a pro on the bus route between home and school (and even took the train to Goalball practice without me). Nathan and Mike walked home from school most days, and even Megan has a little more freedom getting around the neighborhood. When they are out and about I am grateful for cell phones because I know they can get in touch with me when needed. When they are gone I feel a subtle unease that is alleviated once everyone is on their way home. There is not much better than knowing my kiddos are home and safe. Peace comes over me as I sit and know that they have all returned after their adventurous days.
I have been wondering if our Heavenly Father feels similar feelings about us, his children. He has sent us each into our mortal journey, knowing that we would face difficult things. He has given us lots of direction through scriptures and the words of living prophets. His Son, Jesus Christ, has shown us the way home, and has provided a way to return to the path if we stray. And no matter what we face, through prayer, we can reach out to our Heavenly Father. I am certain that He longs for each of us to return to His presence, to His home. I am sure he wants this more than we can even comprehend.
More than anything, this is what I want for me and for my family. I want us to return, and to feel at home with our Heavenly Father. Similar to our transportation situation, I have responsibility in helping my children know the right path, and doing all I can to teach and lead and love. But I also need to remember that my kids need independence. As they progress on their own individual journeys, they will (hopefully) grow in faith, strength and knowledge, coming to know their Savior as they access the power of His atoning sacrifice in their lives.