My Air Force husband has less than one year left before retiring. This time next year, God willing, we will be living in our “forever home.” It feels like my whole life I have been on the move.
My father was a Marine Corps officer; it seemed like our little family of four was all we had. We put down roots. We uprooted. We went where we were sent.
My parents planted in New Orleans for the last time when I was in high school. I grew up. I went to college. I got a job. I got married. So much change.
I have always craved the feeling of a forever 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 thought I finally knew what it felt like to have a forever 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 Phoenix home, in the Valley of the Sun, surrounded by mountains and High Desert. We have less than one year left here and then we’re gone. Again.
And God and I laugh at how I got here. The hard way. After some long, lonely, lovely miles.
Heartache and hard lessons aside, I think I have finally learned what it means to know where you belong. I have learned what Ruth knew right away:
Wherever You go Lord, I will go. Even when I need a GPS to find my new grocery store, I am not alone because You are 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, Lord, You know the way.
Wherever You live, I will live. I am alive in Christ. I am not who I once was. Because You saved me, and set my feet on the high places, now 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, Lord, You redeem me from that pit and stand, with arms wide. In Your 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 will not find a soft place to land when my husband retires from the Air Force, not even when we hang the last picture in our “forever home.” 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.
Image Copyright: gkordus / 123RF Stock Photo