My Big Move Away from Home and Why I Came Back

Lucy Shea Allen

September 07, 2021 | 3 minute read

I didn’t realize what home meant to me until I didn’t have it anymore. I never considered myself a homebody. I didn’t often get homesick or feel like I needed to be close to home. So, in 2017, I moved to Chicago. It was a big move. I didn’t know very many people there, but I knew I wanted to try living in a big city and pursuing my dreams there. Cue the most difficult 2 and a half years of my life (you can read a bit more about that here). TL;DR, after a lot of talking with God and trying to discern the right next step for me, I moved back home in March of 2020 (and as we all know, that year could be a whole separate article). What I found was that home was so much more important than I ever realized. 


A place to be me

There is no place like home. Really. I am able to be the most real version of myself at home. My family has seen me at my best and at my absolute worst. We’ve worked through really hard things together and celebrated the great things together. And that’s WHY I am able to be myself with them. We’ve experienced so much together and have committed to loving one another through it all. That kind of love and acceptance I experience at home has shown me something really important about Jesus. Because the truth is, that kind of love can only come from Jesus who loved me perfectly in spite of my brokenness. “We love because he loved us first.” (1 John 4:19). 


A place to heal

When I came back home from my time in Chicago, I had some real hurt, disappointments, and anxiety I needed to sort through. I spent 2 ½ years of my life trying to be strong in a season where all my normal comfort was gone. (Now, I was lucky to find some amazing people in the middle of that who supported and loved me, and, if you’re reading this, friends, you know who you are!) So, when I returned home, I immediately felt the weight of all I experienced come crashing down on me. For the first time in a long while, I allowed myself to experience the flood of emotions and really begin to heal. Because, subconsciously, I knew home was a safe place to do that. And that carried over into my relationship with Jesus. I recognized that Jesus wanted to be my safe place, too. He never asked me to censor my pain. In fact, he wanted to share the load with me and lead me in the slow, steady path of healing. 


A place to grow

Have you ever been shamed into self-improvement or made to feel bad about yourself in order to motivate you to change? Maybe you’ve done it to yourself a few times. Did it bring lasting and healthy change in your life? Maybe you’re not like me, but I have never been able to really thrive under shame parading as motivation. And the good thing is, we weren’t designed to! The heart of Jesus beats to show mercy and grace which has led me to grow without fear of failure or the pressure of perfection. Jesus is so patient and gentle to help me see where I need to grow. He doesn’t stand there wagging his finger and asking me to “be better.” When I moved home, I experienced a representation of that gracious love and support that allowed me the space to grow and flourish.


Now, I know that not everyone has the privilege of a safe and loving earthly home environment. I’m incredibly grateful to have had that in my life. But more importantly, I have realized that this version of home, at its most perfect and beautiful, is truly only found in one place: relationship with Jesus. Check out what Jesus himself said to his followers when he was on earth: “Just as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Now remain in my love.” And Paul, one of the earliest followers of Jesus wrote this: 

I am absolutely sure that not even death or life can separate us from God’s love. Not even angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers can separate us. Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can separate us. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love. That’s because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.” (Romans 8:38-39)

If you’ve never had that safe space, that place where you are unconditionally loved, I promise you will find that in Jesus. Any who want to come to him, he will not cast out. He wants to be home for you, the place you can be yourself, the place you can heal, and the place you can grow to become more and more like him. 


Home is the place where we can be ourselves, vulnerable, honest, real, and fully loved. I Am Second is all about providing a space to be vulnerable and honest about brokenness while also encountering the true unconditional love of Jesus. Did you know that you can help support the work of I Am Second and be entered to win a brand new home? Learn more about the I Am Home project here



Header photo via Steven Aguilar on Unsplash

Lucy Shea Allen

Lucy Shea Allen

Lucy is the Content Director for I Am Second. She is an actor and singer from Dallas, loves taking care of her plant babies, reading a good book (or four), leading worship at her church, and journeying through Star Wars and the MCU.

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