How Losing Our House Taught Me the True Meaning of Home

I caught myself standing in my bathroom. I leaned on the broom handle and stared at myself in the mirror. I looked different. It was somewhat shocking. I looked like my twin but prettier or maybe lighter or maybe more color? I was someone I wanted to know or become friends with.

I could see in the reflection an empty room where my bed once was and an empty wall where a painting once hung. Everything was empty and bare and the house was no longer our own. The chandelier that hung in my bathroom was now a generic fixture. The mirror was no longer the gold-gilded antique my dad gave us, but a simple bathroom mirror from Home Depot.

Our identity was stripped from this house and it now felt blank. I had dreaded this day for so long. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with a sick feeling of impending doom that we would lose this house and all that it had meant and become homeless. I realized right at that moment that this fear had haunted me my entire life. It swirled in my head with the words from my father, “You will be a starving artist with a husband who can’t take care of you and your children will be homeless!”

Echoes From the Past: The Weight of My Father's Words

 

Even as a little girl, he told me unless I married an engineer I would have to live in the dump and eat garbage. In downtown Seattle, my dad would point to a homeless man and tell me to be sure I married the right person or I would end up on the streets like this guy. I watched a documentary on Ethiopia when I was a child and saw children with faces covered in flies but they were too exhausted to wipe them away. I asked my dad why their bellies were so big, and he told me, “They don’t have enough food to eat and the stomach becomes full of fluid without enough protein, this is what happens when you are starving. You should be thankful your mom married an engineer and this will never happen to you.”

When I was about eight years old, my dad told me that he found a homeless family camping in our woods and he made them leave and called the police. I couldn’t bear the idea of children like me living in the woods like Hansel and Gretel waiting to be eaten by a witch.

I realized in that moment as I stared into the eyes of this new woman in the Home Depot mirror that this great and terrible fear was gone. I had walked all the way to the very end of the road named “starving artist” and I didn’t find filth and squalor or children with ribs showing and bloated bellies. I didn’t find desolation and starvation. I found myself.

I found a woman who married a man who had the courage to live their passion. I found that we could endure anything together and remain friends. I found that our life had destiny written all over it and God would never abandon us. I realized right then that the only safe place was in the center of your destiny with a contrite heart.

The True Essence of Home and Destiny

Artist Influencer Elli Milan standing in her art studio

Losing the symbol of success that was our house still stung like an open wound, but I knew that this house no longer defined me. In the end, it’s just a house- just rooms with carpet, painted walls, and nothing more.

Our home lies within us.

Home is found in our destiny. We all have a great purpose and a call. We can deny that call and pretend to not hear it, but will forever feel unanchored. We will feel the growing agony of an unfulfilled destiny. Denying our true calling or divine assignment, we will be vagabonds and wanderers drifting from one opportunity to the next.

The day we make the decision to step into our destiny and answer the call is the day our life truly begins. It takes courage. It takes strength and it is an act of love and an act of war. We vanquish the desire for what feels safe and defeat every tendency of mediocrity. But we rise and shine and meet our moment to find ourselves home in our divine journey of destiny and purpose.

This is an excerpt from my book Unemployable. I have heard from so many how much they have been inspired by hearing the audible version of this book narrated in my own voice. I invite you to hear my story and find the courage to grab a hold of your story and fulfill your destiny.

Share your story in the comments below!


4 comments


  • Erika

    We too lost our home after the 2008 crash! We clung to that house, our dream house. But it was one of the best things that ever happened to us. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m going to buy your book
    ———
    Elli Milan Art replied:
    Hi Erika. I totally get it. Those years were rough but also the very best thing that could have happened. So many people lost and saw life savings vaporized only to see what is most important.


  • Emma Belle Smallwood

    Dear Elli, thankyou so much for writing your book!I enjoyed it thoroughly and can see myself listening to it again and again! I laughed out loud in parts and found deep courage and inspiration in others. Im a 42 yr old artist and mother of two, and today listening to your book in one day gave me the push I needed to push through some hefty resistance. Blessings always for you, your family and your mission 💫
    ———
    Elli Milan Art replied:
    Oh! Thank you! I’m so glad you loved my book! All the best to you serving and fulfilling your dreams! It’s the best thing you can do for your children. Be a mom who fights for what she believes in and has the self worth to live her best life!!


  • Veronica Herrera

    I’ve heard a long time ago ( 15ish yrs )
    We are connected to a “Voice” or a select few in our lifetime, and we will only know it when we hear it. Ellie you are that Voice to me, Finally found you. This post went through me. Like That Great double edged sword, and become a mirror. My heart and spirit were heard and seen.
    I was crying. I have been homeless with 4 lil kids for a season. BUT THIs truth pierceD and reminded me of the verse “oh death where is your sting?” Just Wow!! (( lol, I’ve been there, and yes I’ve found myself.why am I denying my destiny)) AND EXACTLY! I CANT STAY SAFE…
    I gotta stomp out all that injustice of lies, fear, doubt etc with my big boots and GO.
    I Confess, I got stuck and stifled at “Portfolio” . She’s always calling me to complete already.
    Thank You ELLIE, so brave and courageous ♥️👑, You truly are a Prophetess, 😭🔥 wow!
    ———
    Elli Milan Art replied:
    Hi Veronica, Thank you for the encouragement. Im so glad my writings and posts mean something to you and help empower you to be your best and encourage you through the difficult times and discouragements. Yes! YOU have to stomp out the injustices of fear, doubt and lies trying to steal your destiny from you! God is the power behind your stomp but we have to raise our foot! 😍


  • Kristen

    I wish it was a physical book, as much as I’d like to listen to it for a rich experience, I just dont want to join membership plans. Thank you
    ———
    Elli Milan Art replied:
    Hi! It is a physical book! You can find it on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Unemployable-Odyssey-Artist-Elli-Milan-ebook/dp/B0B5WH8RR1/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=3F0AUWRR8ZHSQ&keywords=unemployable&qid=1697202562&sprefix=unemployable%2Caps%2C108&sr=8-1 Also you can use your browser instead of app from audible to just buy and listen without joining anything. 😊


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