I can remember Kindergarten, maybe a bit before that. Always, I wanted to know what it meant: Coming Home. My father was a Marine Corps officer; it seemed like our little family of four was all we had. We put down roots. Then uprooted. We went wherever we were sent.
My parents planted in New Orleans for the last time when I was in high school. I grew up. Went to college. Got a job. Got married. So much change.
I have always craved the feeling of coming home. Driving down the tree-lined street, steering around the familiar potholes, with my laundry basket and my books bouncing beside me…just for the weekend; this was my college experience. I finally knew what it felt like to Come Home.
After that short time of belonging in New Orleans, all at once I was a sojourner again. First, my husband became a Navy dentist. Then after two moves, two deployments, two children, and Hurricane Katrina, he went to work for the Air Force. We moved on.
This life has been me, transplanting, while knowing that there will always be another place. And another. And another…
As I write this, I sit in my Birmingham home, in the Heart of Dixie, surrounded by green, green trees. We’ve been here less than two years. Some days it feels like we’ve been here forever and some days it feels like the moving truck just pulled away. And God and I laugh at how I got here. The hard way. After some long, lonely, lovely miles.
Curating the Good
I’ve learned to see God’s hand, holding mine along the lonely roads. I see now that, it was all meant for my good. Because of the long journey, I know what it means to Come Home. I have learned what Ruth knew right away:
- Wherever You go, I will go. Even when I need a GPS to find my new grocery store, I am not alone because He is with me. Even when I am driving along with all my precious cargo packed around me: wedding pictures, faded hand-written letters from Momma and Daddy, the ratty Teddy Bear that Grandma gave me, those two kids that saved me from myself, and that husband that has been both my stumbling and my sharpening…and I can see that The Lord, He knows the way.
- Wherever You live, I will live. I am alive in Christ. I am not who I once was. Because He saved me, and sets my feet on the high places, I can breathe, really breathe. I have a future and a hope that I can’t mess up, not even on my worst bitterness-filled, hope-lost, donut-lovin’, self-absorbed day. Even then, He redeems me from that pit and stands, with arms wide. In His eyes I see the message, “Come Home, my lovely one. My dear one. My prized possession. I have supper waiting for you. You come and sit right beside me at the table.”
- Your people will be my people. The Body of Christ is a messy Bride sometimes…the kind that has mascara running down her face and snaps at her Maid of Honor and might even have her skirt stuffed into the back of her pantyhose as she walks up the aisle. Christ is the Bridegroom that, with shining eyes, looks past all that mess and just sees…His Beloved. It is His love that knits us together. God’s people are my people. I am always coming home when I am with them. His Spirit, in each of them, witnesses to His Spirit in me and, miraculously we really are One Body.
My restless, aching heart did not settle immediately when my husband retired from the Air Force, not even when we hung the last picture in our “forever home.” But our peace is not to be found in an address engraved on a doorframe. Our identity is not to be found in the acceptance of others. Our “forever home” is with Christ.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love,
what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled,
when strivings cease!
my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
– “In Christ Alone” by Stuart Townend.
Won’t you join me next week as we study the practice of Curating the Good: Collecting & Displaying Evidence of God’s Goodness? (amazon link)
P. S. This post originally appeared on God-Sized Dreams, but it was due for a little update, and I wanted to share it with you, here.
Image Copyright: just2shutter / 123RF Stock Photo