Over the weekend, I got to chat with two amazing friends (Rachel A. and Liz W.) who are off at college in Virginia and Michigan. While they are both having an amazing time at school, they're both feeling very homesick as of late. You can read Rachel's wonderful blog post on the subject here.
As I talked (or... typed - gmail chat) with Liz yesterday, she told me about how one of the hardest parts of being away at college is simply the unfamiliarity of it all, so much change, feeling out of touch with "normal life." And while it's exciting and good, there's a longing for home that is always there.
Home is such a special place for many of us. For me, "home" is where I am accepted, loved just because I'm me; it's where there's a cozy fire in the winter, flowers in the spring, lemonade in the summer, and apple trees in the fall. It's where my family is, the most special people in my life.
My family knows that I'm not really much of a homebody. I've always been eager to travel, ready to live life wherever, be it in Canby, Oregon, or on the other side of the world. But despite the fact that I love the adventure of following Jesus where I've never been before, I know that this small, earthly home will always hold a special place in my heart.
"Home is where the heart is," Liz said to me. A phrase we've all heard, but it hit me with more meaning this time than it had before. Because I realized that if this is true, I will never have to be separated from home. What I mean by this is that if I put my heart in Jesus and make my home in Him, then I will always be home.
Home on earth is a special place with special people. But our true Home is so much more. In this life, our Home is in the spirit of Jesus; it is there that we find our rest, we are fed in the Word, we are loved unconditionally. And in the life to come, our Home will be the most beautiful place imaginable with the most glorious person imaginable. Us and Jesus. Home.
When we start really believing that our Home is in Jesus, I think it will change the way we live. We will be anchored in Christ, knowing that nothing can separate us from His love, our Home. As we physically enter into unknown territory and unfamiliar places, we will still always be Home in our hearts with a firm foundation in our Heavenly Father. We will miss the place on earth we call "home," but we know we will be going to our Home before long.
Like Jimmy. Of course my thoughts go to him as I think of going Home. Today marks his thirteenth week in his true Home. I wish we could ask him a little bit about what it's like, but I don't know if there would be human words capable of describing it. All I know is that if we were to catch one glimpse of that Home, nothing would satisfy us but to live for the day we get to be there with Jesus. And it won't be long. The song "Beautiful," so much "Jimmy's song" in my mind, can still bring me to tears at that beautiful, aching, promising line:
Soon we will be coming Home.