“This is our home.”
I say this a lot these days while bent low to toddler level. Putting on shoes, getting in the car, soothing tears, multiple other times each day our littlest one says “I go home now?” Her little voice filled with hope and anticipation.
“I go home now?”
Sometimes through tears.
“I go home now?”
And so we must repeat:
“This is our home, sweet girl. This IS our home.”
Interestingly, the phrase “this is our home” can change meaning depending on inflection and emphasis. One way to say it is triumphant, like shouting in all caps, “THIS IS OUR HOME.” Another way is with questioning awe as in, “This is OUR home?” And the other, the one we use most often, is with added conviction and comfort: This is our home.
Trying to communicate with a two year old that this strange new place is actually the place she is asking for is not an easy task. In her mind home looks different, feels different, sounds different, is made up of different people, and even smells different. How confusing it must be.
I understand how she feels. I am home, my mind knows that I am, but my heart hasn’t exactly caught up yet and it feels a little strange. This settling into a place that feels welcoming and comfortable yet foreign and lonely is quite the paradox. I still cry. I cry over videos from home, conversations with friends, flashes of memory, smiling pictures, and songs that bring warmth from the thought of people I sang beside.
But this is our home. I am home.
It is beautiful, there is no doubt and the truth is I have received more than I deserve. But it isn’t things I miss and it isn’t space that makes a home. I share my home with three (almost four) others who hold my heart and so that means I am home. I long to fill these walls with old friends from far and new friends from near and so that means I am home. I am being planted where God wants me and so that means I am home.
Some days are harder than others as I wonder how long God will leave me lonely…why it feels so much harder making connections when you aren’t just in a new place but an entirely new territory… when the color of the grass is different and even the birds seem to sing in a different tune. Not to mention the sunrises so early and so the coffee begins flowing a little earlier.
Some days I can’t be a good friend to my long-time ones because my heart seems dry and my brain seems scattered. And sometimes I am astounded by the swiftness with which God hears our hearts cry when new acquaintances message with reminders that you are not alone.
But this is a whole new world without the magic carpet. But who needs a dusty old rug when here we have the pre-paved path of our Lord’s sovereign walk. He went before. And He walks with. Loneliness, while real in the power of its feeling, has no power over the calling for which God has placed us.
So here we are. We are home. We are adjusting and doing our best. We are finding ways to make this place a home to us. We are exploring a beautiful new territory that has surprised us with its charms. And, yes, we still long for our other home and our other people – the one we knew before and the ones we still ache to embrace. And we will for some time, I’m sure.
But we can’t let the longing for the former steal the joy of the current. I can’t let it. I can’t diminish the beauty and the blessing of the present by downplaying the beauty and blessing of the past; both are gifts. We remember it all fondly and, perhaps with occasional tears, we add to it – a multi-colored kaleidoscope of a life in the trampled path of our Lord’s guiding.
People have been asking to see the new house so check out the pictures below. Not everything is in place - that'll take a while - but its coming together.
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