“I have long wondered if home is the place from which we come or the place we are headed.” ~Christie Purifoy
Ten years ago, my husband and I packed our belongings into a moving truck and headed home. With my two small children peeking at me through the rearview mirror, I had a settledness in my soul. I drove the familiar, tree-lined highway back to the mountain where I was raised with plans to raise my own little girls there.
I grew up in a small town with a big view. My family and my in-laws would now be a step or two away, my best friends just down the road. The stained-glass window that lit my face on my wedding day would filter the sunlight for Sundays to come.
We built a house with shiny counters and tall windows. Those counters held platters of shared food as our home became a place for holidays and joy. I spent quiet mornings on the screened-in porch with the song of the bullfrogs to keep me company. We even had enough space to open our home to an exchange student. I felt home sweet home down in my bones.
Just five years after our homecoming, I found myself behind a moving truck again. This time I couldn’t make out my daughters’ faces in the rearview mirror because tears blurred my vision. I drove that winding road down the mountain and across the bridge that would now separate me from my home. Knowing this was the right move for our family didn’t ease the pain.
We’ve lived in our little house in the big city for as many years as we lived in that home sweet home. The cabinets let out a sleepy sigh when I open them in the early morning. The wood floor by the back door is warped, either a reminder of a rainy season past or a warning of things to come–I can’t tell which yet. My girls are stacked on top of each other in a tiny, lavender-colored room. My husband’s hobby is relegated to a dimly lit storage room in the damp basement.
Even in this tired old house, we are home. It is where our life blossoms. The quiet of my small-town mornings was replaced by the chortle of passing trains. We built a new network of friends and found our place in a new faith community. My son took his first bath and his first steps here. It’s not home as I envisioned it, but it is oh-so-sweet.
We were created for home. Whether it’s the place we grew up or where we live now, home gives us feelings of comfort, safety, and acceptance. Those feelings are what drew me to my hometown a decade ago. It’s what I grieved when we had to leave. I hope I can create that kind of environment within our four walls for my own children, wherever those walls may be. I want them to always long to come back home.
God placed this desire for home in us. He created the perfect home in the Garden. That’s where the standard for comfort, safety, and acceptance was established. We’ve been trying to find our way back ever since. We try to find our home in our success, our possessions, and even love. None of it feels steady enough to call home.
God wants our search for home to lead us back to him. This is why he sent Jesus on a rescue mission to bring us back home. Jesus stands on the winding road, inviting us to return to that place we were created to live. He calls to us, “Come, follow me,” and “Knock and the door will be opened” (Matthew 4:19, 7:7). He is the bridge back home.
Home may be where you’ve been or a place you still hope to find. If you feel unsettled, know that it is a call from your Creator. God wants you to know you can find the comfort, safety, and acceptance you are looking for in Christ. Jesus left the comforts of his home in heaven so he could bring you home.
Father in heaven, thank you for loving us enough to send Jesus. His sacrifice made a way for us to be with you. We accept this gift with gratitude. Jesus is our only way home to you. Give us the peace of your presence as we wait here in our earthly homes. Amen.
Scripture for Reflection
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3 NIV)
“Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:18-19 NLT)
Reach for More
What is your favorite thing about your home? What makes you feel at home? Snap a picture and share it with us on social media using the hashtag #tgtreachformore.
As you consider the things that make you feel at home, know that God is preparing a home with all of that and more. It is possible to be certain of a home in heaven with God the Father.
Kelly Smith is a small town girl who married a small town man. They have three children. In the quiet minutes of her day, you will find her at the keyboard or curled up with a book–always with coffee. Kelly believes we are created for community and loves to find ways to connect with other women who are walking in the shadow of the cross. She blogs at mrsdisciple.com.
Photograph © Scott Webb, used with permission