|We close on our new house June 12th!|
The truth was I never found home, perhaps because I wasn't ready. If you don't know where your heart is meant to dwell it will never find it's resting place. But even though, in a sense I'm still far from home, my heart has finally found a place to call home.
My home is God's heart and my home is his people. Throughout the early years of my life I learned the first truth, in the last few years I've learned the second. Whether living in someone's basement or far from my native south, I learned to live and move and have my being in God my father (Acts 17:28).
After disappointment, that I've both endured and caused, I've come to realize that if my heart dwells in God and your heart dwells in God, we dwell together. I knew that truth doctrinally but experientially it has alluded me. As much as I've cared deeply for the churches we've served I've rarely felt at home. Perhaps I wasn't ready, perhaps I was still sojourning. Maybe I needed to feel far from home to prize home when I found it.
I don't feel far from home anymore.
In all our wandering Chris and I never bought, or even considered buying, a house. There were many, many reasons for that. To a great extent they were financial, the risk didn't out weigh the benefit. But now, even though there are still risks, we're ready to face them.
I'm tired of wandering. I need a home. But more than that, something is different in me, in this church. I believe God is doing something new. Buying a house says something. It says I choose to stay, it says I choose you. For the long haul. And that's what I believe a church family should do, choose Jesus, and one another, for the long haul. Like marriage.
So this house is our engagement ring. We're marrying our future to Christ's bride in this time and this place, for better or worse. For a wandering gypsy like me that kind of commitment thrills and terrifies me. But I trust it's God's doing and I embrace it.
Oddly enough our arrival at the church was less formal than anywhere else we've been and in some ways I think that's good. No need for fanfare, there's work to be done.
In every church we've served the value of our experience has been enormous and we've loved deeply. We are still in relationship with many of our friends. But I've never felt like the whole church was family, I've always wondered if I was wanted. Perhaps I guarded my heart too closely, or perhaps those communities didn't know how to adopt. But I know this is what I've always wanted. To belong.
"You have made us for yourself, Oh Lord, and are hearts are restless until they rest in you." St. Augustine
Do you have a place to belong? We are communal creatures, a life of solitude isn't an option. If you're still wandering ask God to establish you in community, it's his desire for his children to be at home together.