I’m Aware: There’s No Place Like Home
One of my favorite stories of all time is “The Wizard of Oz.” It is a timeless tale about a young girl named Dorothy who loses her way in life after a storm hits her home in Kansas. One minute Dorothy is home on the ranch and everything is going well. There is Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, the mean neighbor Almira, the nice towns people who know her by name, and her beloved dog Toto. Dorothy is immersed in a loving environment with a sense of knowing and peace.
Suddenly, a tornado storm comes through Kansas and destroys everything that Dorothy knows to be home. In the midst of this storm, Dorothy also loses her own consciousness. When she wakes up from her deep slumber, she is no longer in Kansas anymore. Dorothy is in Oz, a great land of magic and mystery operated by an all seeing all knowing all powerful wizard. Aside from Toto, everything in Dorothy’s life has changed, and she is now on a quest to regain her consciousness and find her way back home.
Have you ever felt like Dorothy? Have you ever woken up to yourself only to realize that you are a long ways from that which you deemed to be familiar and comfortable? Have you ever left home?
Sometimes we look back over our lives and we say things like, “this job is not like my last job,” or “she does not treat me like she used to,” or, “if only someone could love me like Daddy did,” or “I miss my old neighborhood.”
Have you ever compared your present to your past, and realized that this is not the future you intended to leave home for. This is assuming you intended to leave home in the first place. You could really be like Dorothy, and you may contemplate often how a storm moved you out of the position you were happily in.
In the moment that we realize, “there is no place like home,” how do we reposition ourselves back to where we belong?
In 1978, Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, produced an all African American ensemble remake of The Wizard of Oz called, The Wiz. Out of the genius of casting Diana Ross and Michael Jackson to play the leads, a new look, feel, and sound was given to my favorite story. It is in this version that Dorothy, played by Diana sings:
“When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s love overflowing. I wish I was home, I wish I was back there with the things I been knowing.”
Thank God for Berry Gordy, and the good folks at Motown. In these lyrics of the song titled, “Home,” we are given a profound definition of what it means to be home. When we meditate on these lyrics, we realize that Dorothy, whether you relate to Judy Garland, Diana Ross, or both Dorothy characters, was never really looking to get back to the place, Kansas, or the place, Harlem. Home for Dorothy was a state of being or rather a disposition of love.
This is just like you and I. We never really want the old job, or girlfriend, or neighborhood, or childhood with Daddy. What we really truly want is “the love overflowing,” these people, spaces, and places provided us. We are all looking for unconditional love. We are all searching for the insurance that unconditional love provides us to be truly free as ourselves.
Four years ago, on July 19, 2013, I launched The Clarissa Joan Experience. At the time, I was like Dorothy. I woke up one day to find everything that I loved and called home dismantled, destroyed, demolished, and devoured. This is what happens when a family loses its matriarch, my great-grandmother, The Wizard of Oz for our family. When we put our hope, joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, humility, and ability to have self-control in the hands of people, places, and, we eventually lose our way.
I had lost my way, and I, like Dorothy, was determined to find my way back home. The Clarissa Joan Experience became a tool for me to do so. By sharing my life lessons via The Word of God, I had created a comfortable space for me to learn, grow, and bless others simultaneously. As followers of site, you all have watched me conqueror trauma, give birth to new life, take risks towards my dreams, and seek God persistently through it all.
This road has not been an easy one to travel. It has been painstakingly challenging and tough. With each step I take towards renewing my mind by The Word of God, I am swarmed with uncertainty, doubt, fear, disbelief, ghosts from times past, and boulders in the way of my progress that require much spiritual heavy lifting to circumvent.
Like Dorothy following the yellow brick road, I am not beyond evil crazy flying monkeys chasing me and terrorizing my path to destiny. But also, like Dorothy, I am growing. I am growing in courage, intelligence, and most importantly my heart opens more and more each day.
I love sharing this journey with you all. What I love most about The Clarissa Joan Experience is the “aha’s,” revelations, testimonies, and moments of truth you all share with me. I love that we are all growing together as one. Like Dorothy, you all have become my scarecrow, my tinman, and my lion.
Together, I believe that we are stepping into a new spaces, places, relationships, and opportunities with a deep sense of peace and home within our own beings. This has always been my intention for the work. It is this intention that motivated me to design The Clarissa Joan Experience in the first place. When people ask me, why do you study scripture or why do you believe in God? It is very easy for me to be convicted in my answer.
I believe in God, because he keeps his promises. He has made footstools out of my enemy of loss and lack. He has guided me down a pathway to self-love rooted in the knowledge of HIS unconditional love for me. I could go on and on and on about HIS works in my life.
In many situations, like Dorothy, I was lost to be found. I know you too have stories about how God revealed himself in the midst of your storms. In moments of big change, whether we lose or gain, we can find ourselves filled with fear and doubt facing the unknown. But we must remember, “the promises of God, are yes and Amen.” 2 Corinthians 1: 20 – 22
In our hearts we know this truly, but there will always be flying monkeys and devastating tornados that come to blow this truth away. Like Dorothy, we have to see for ourselves that we may truly conquer our disbelief and journey home again.
In my times of loss, when I came to myself, I did not find my home in a place. I found my home, my sense of peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control to carry on in the Lord.
This is the blueprint to true success. We must all journey deep inside of ourselves to find that which is our true home, the love of God.
Did you know that another name for God is Immanuel which means God with us?
When we find our home in the love of God, who has provided the very air we need to breathe in abundance, there is no place that we can journey to and not be at home. There is nothing we can go through and not be established in victory. When we learn to dwell in the presence of God, we take God with us wherever we go. God is with us at work, at school, in native and foreign places. God is with us in relationships we love and relationships we cannot wait to dissipate.
The Love of God is our home, and there is truly no place like home.
No matter how tough it is to get there, if we have to slay 10,000 demons a day with the armor of God and his Word as our shield, we can, shall, and should always feel at home with God. The presence of God is our birthright. We should think of The Word of God as our estate attorney, and now is always the time to collect our inheritance. Like Dorothy, we have the power to always be somewhere over the rainbow.
Thank you for your support of The Clarissa Joan Experience. Four years down, and a lifetime of peace, purpose, truth, love, and God to explore.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith,
humility, and self-control”
Galatians 2: 22- 23
“But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4: 6 – 8