What is your heart really longing for? Kate Motaung’s book A Place to Land answers that question!
I grew up with a sense of simply not belonging. Not to my family, not in my town, not anywhere really. Whether the root was the seed of doubt planted by a sister who convinced me I was adopted or an early desire to find a true home for my heart, I still don’t know.
What I do know is that what began as a bit of unease catapulted to full-scale fear and frenzy during my freshman year of college, the year my dad and I both left home.
Any semblance of a solid foundation slipped away with one little word: divorce.
I was a flailing college freshman and not because of late nights or hard parties but because of loneliness and longing.
Looking back, I realize that I didn’t just long for things to be the way they had always been. I wanted things to be right.
I wanted home to be a safe haven and family to be forever; more than anything, I wanted love to be lasting.
Looking for Love
Little by little, I began looking for lasting love. More often than not, I sought it in some simply wrong places, but just often enough I searched the best source.
With a heart broken by my earthly father, I turned to a heavenly one.
Night after night, I studied scripture, looking for the truth, and when I found it, it set me free.
I began to remember the love song that creation sings – the one that sings to him and of him, the one I heard as a child when I watched the stars and thought of God and his great love. The rhythm of that song began to move the music of my life and change its direction as well.
That rhythm carried me from small-town Mississippi to The Green City in the Sun, which pulses with life and with the music of its maker. Living in Nairobi, Kenya showed me that God had made my longing heart perfect for his plans. Africa fit me like a glove, and my aching to belong eased up.
But two years passes quickly, and I came home. I know I could have gone back, but the call to discipleship is about more than missions. It’s about obedience to the God who goes and the God who stays.The call to discipleship is about more than missions. It's about obedience - both to go and to stay. Click To Tweet
So when God says, “Go,” you do it. If he says, “Stay,” you do that, too. And, that’s hard sometimes, when home isn’t where your heart is.
Kate Motaung knows a good bit about that. She’s lived here and there and knows the difficulties of crossing cultures and the hard parts of coming home.
Culture Shock at Home and Abroad
She would totally understand the fact that after coming home from Kenya I found myself crying in the toilet paper aisle at Walmart because there were SO MANY KINDS.
It was overwhelming, y’all. Back then in Kenya, we had two choices – white or blue. To see that stuff stocked from the floor to the ceiling simply did me in.
Because cultures sometimes clash.
Reading her new book A Place to Land was like living so many parts of my past all over again…but with the hope of knowing how God worked in all of it.
And I do mean ALL of it.
Because he does that, doesn’t he? One of the hardest things I’ve ever been through taught me the most about his grace. Looking for love led me to him because he “works all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
But it’s hard to believe that sometimes. When we’re hurting or feeling helpless, faith can be hard to find, but good news: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)
Finding A Place to Land
Kate’s memoir A Place to Land is a testament to that, to the faithfulness of a Father who never leaves us or forsakes us. She writes with such beauty and honesty about the trials she’s faced and the way God has carried her through them.
I’ve been following Kate’s blog for years, having first “met” her through the Five Minute Friday link party begun by Lisa-Jo Baker many moons ago. Kate’s been hosting it for a while now so I’ve learned a few things about her through the years, and even though I’ve always liked her writing, I had no idea how much I would love her book.
It is beautiful.
A Place to Land is the story of Kate’s life and of her mother’s death, and she writes even the hardest parts with such hope that I found myself praising God for his goodness even as I was reading about her grief. Telling the story of her mom’s battle with cancer, Kate explains the doubts and fears she faced, opening her heart and sharing her hurts.
But she always comes back to hope….
The hope of home.
Reading A Place to Land will open your eyes to the fact that your heart is longing for home every bit as much as hers is. Like Kate, we all want to find a place to rest, a place of healing, a haven. We need to know where we belong.
God made us that way, didn’t he? He created our hearts for home, and do you know what? God doesn’t just give us our desires; he fulfills them, too. Right now, just as he promised, Christ is preparing a place for us.
That home gives us hope – hope for healing.
The place he prepares is perfect. It is free of pain and suffering and sin. Our heavenly home is built on a foundation that will never fail.
But we aren’t there yet.
The Hope of Home
Here, we have to hang on to the hope of home. We search high and low, but if Kate’s book reminds us of anything, it’s this:
Jesus is preparing a place for us, but until he takes us to it, our hearts are his home. He didn’t leave us here alone. Over the years, I’ve spent so much time torn between this home and that one, here and there, that I’ve finally learned to say, “If I rise on the wings of the dawn or settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:9-10)
I don’t have to look for where I belong because the answer is easy: He is my home. He is the source of shelter I seek, the place I find peace.
What about you? If you’re struggling to have faith in the Father, Kate’s book will encourage you. When you’re grieving, it will give you grace. If you’re looking for home, A Place to Land will hold out hope.
* Disclosure: I received a review copy of A Place to Land but was not obligated to write a positive review. These opinions are my own. This really is one of the best books I’ve read in a long while!