Twice in my life, family and friends have gathered to shower me with domestic gifts. When I got married, everyone wanted to help me set up a home. When I got pregnant, they wanted to deck out a nursery. As someone who’s dreamed about cookware and cribs, this generosity was all I could hope for and more.

The problem was, in both seasons, God was calling me far away from home.

My husband and I moved to Kosovo just weeks after we got married. After our child is born, we’ll head to France. Unlike most of our peers, our possessions are limited to what we can carry in a few suitcases. We find ourselves constantly resisting the urge to nest.

This resistance isn’t easy. I hate declining gifts and having no space for something impractical. I envy the security of my home-owning friends. Yet, in my nestlessness, God has taught me something profound about myself and my place in his kingdom.

If left to my own devices, I’d have no qualms about prioritizing my home, family, comfort, and self-protection above all else. It’s human nature to want to put up fences and burrow inward. While I believe family is important, I’ve learned that it can also become an idol—one that turns us myopic and easily stuck in our comfort zones.

My nestlessness has forced me to see my home as more than just four walls, my family as larger than just my husband and child. I’ve had to turn outward and seek shelter beneath the greater wings of God and his kingdom. His home is big enough for all of his children, and I’ve been able to live fully with that family, embracing vulnerability rather than shutting myself off.

It isn’t always easy or comfortable, but now I cannot imagine settling for anything less than the big, messy nest that is the kingdom of God.

Elizabeth Steere
is a writer and missionary, most recently working in Kosovo and Southern France. She loves cooking, traveling, empowering women, and seeing the upside-down Kingdom of God come to earth.