“Home, then, becomes a quest driven by the belief that peace and rest are out there somewhere, if only you could find them on a map or in a career field or among a community of people who finally “get you.””
Have you lost track of the number of times you’ve moved? Not quite sure where you are from, because you called so many different places home? Or maybe you haven’t moved around a lot, but you still feel like you aren’t “quite there” or you aren’t in the right place yet?It’s not uncommon for us to feel this way. Sometimes God leads Christians into unfamiliar places, places that aren’t home, because He is speaking or has things for them to do. But don’t think that just because God is calling or driving us out of familiarity that things are magically going to be easy. Often it is just the opposite. And for those of us that find ourselves in places like that, we need help. We need direction, wisdom, and a helping hand from those that know this feeling well.
Almost There, written brilliantly by Bekah DiFelice, does just that.
With a wit you will find charming, and a heart of honesty and compassion, DiFelice shares her lifelong experience of moving, shifting, and not quite being at rest the way we all want to. It wasn’t a physical location that helped DiFelice through all the transaction and storms, but a home rooted in a God that was unchangeable. Regardless of the circumstances, a home rooted in God will not move, not waiver, not feel wrong or out of place.
Almost There invites those that are about to impart on some grand transaction, those in the midst of it, or those that have survived, to come and soak up the wisdom and creative storytelling of Behak DiFelice.
“I don’t presume this is the case for everyone, but in my experience the pursuit of home has been a pursuit of God—because I need to know that peace and rest can be found in every place I am, that there is reason and rightness beneath the chaos of my days.”
It is rare that you read a story about the other side of war. I’ve read books, seen movies, and hear stories of the men and women that have gone into battle for their country, but almost never have I heard the story from those that stayed. That puts Almost There in a category of its own.
But this isn’t another book about war, the struggle between pacifism and patriotism. This book is about home. It’s about restlessness, the uncomfortable feeling when you have to move, that internal shifting that happens when we grow. Christians may not all agree on our part in global conflicts, but we all can recognize the strange feelings surrounding the word, home.
This has been an issue that I have struggled with my whole life. Not that I moved around a lot, but I always felt that where I was living wasn’t home somehow. I was born in one place. My parents lived somewhere. I left this city to go to school somewhere else. So when DiFelice began speaking to me about her experience of moving, it struck such a cord within me.
The wanderer that isn’t lost will love Almost There. The truth that DiFelice shares speaks right to the heart of those that aren’t quite there, or have just left what was most comfortable behind.
But the idea of home is not centred around a physical location, as much as we may be raised to think. The place may be important, but home is a bigger idea than four walls, or single family.
I was pleasantly surprised, and well schooled, when DiFelice spoke of hospitality being a large part of a home. As a parent of two, almost three, it often the furthest thing from my mind to have people over after a long day. The thought of all the prep, cleaning, and orchestrating to “entertain” people is overwhelming, but that isn’t what hospitality is about. It is about inviting people into your home, as it is. Mess and all, chaos and confusion galore, because you are inviting them into your life, whether it is in order or not.
While that idea doesn’t make me sick in some ways, who needs to see my messy office space or the kids’ toys thrown everywhere?, it is releasing in the truth that my home is not meant to be a stage to wow and amaze people with my perfection and skill at keeping people fascinated by the things that I can show them or dazzle them with.
Almost There is a light, warm-hearted look at what life is really like. Not in the theoretical sense, but in the actual, boots-on-the-ground kind of way. As DiFelice tells her story and how she came to learn such things about home, she delights and endears readers to herself as a woman that would be your friend should you be her next door neighbour.
The truth that she shares is powerful, not in a knowledge, heady way as you would get from a more theological book. But Almost There has the power to affect the heart, to alter your thinking and feeling towards home, either the place you came from or the building you live in now.
“Oswald Chambers writes, “We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises.””
I have to admit I didn’t realize how “Almost There” I was myself, at home but still not quite settled. Bekah DiFelice showed me sides of “home” and ways of living it that I had never considered. For anyone that doesn’t feel quite right where they are at, or not totally convinced that you are where you should be, I recommend you read Almost There.
I give this book a 4 out of 5-star rating.
I received this complimentary copy of Almost There from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an unbiased review.