One year ago yesterday we handed over the keys of the home we had lived in for eight years to its new tenants. It was the first and only house we ever purchased! It was the house I lived in longer than any house in my entire life. I remember that day one year ago, as I finished the last bit of cleaning and the new tenants walked around the house, all the thoughts that flooded my mind….
I wondered if they knew all that this place was?
Did they know this was the beat up tiny little house we bought and loved on and built on and renovated on to create the larger, nicer, newer and more beautiful home it is today?
Did they know that it was in this house that our own character was loved on, built on and renovated on to make us greater and more beautiful than who we were when we moved in?
I remember that day one year ago I walked around the house wondering if they would know and appreciate that:
This house has seen battles that have ended in defeat and in victory.
This was the dining room that saw many feasts with family and friends.
It was in this living room that friends gathered in prayer and communion.
These walls held the moments where deep friendships and community was forged.
I wondered if they would know that it was in this house that our marriage fell apart….
and God put it back together again.
In this house our children were made, birthed and nurtured.
This is the hallway I paced through the night with a colicky baby.
These are the floors that held up my childrens’ first steps.
This was the corner my babies were rocked and rocked and rocked and rocked.
Inside this place dreams were dreamed and realized.
Things were both broken and restored here.
It was in this house that we learned to hope courageously and this house was the launching pad of faith taking flight.
Exactly one year ago yesterday we packed everything we owned into a moving truck and headed north, into the complete unknown. The unknown has proved both challenging and delightfully surprising. It has been a year of transition. It has been a year of seeing God’s faithfulness over and over. We spent 7 months in a temporary home and 3 months being “homeless” and living with various friends. Finally these last two months we have been in a long term house of our own.
What I have come to know more deeply in my heart is the truth that a house is not a home. That I am a home and my family is a home. That we are a home for love. For God’s love and for the love we share as a family. We are a home to the memories and life that is created within and around us. That a home is not necessarily a place to rest, but that I am a place for peace to rest, for joy to rest, for God to rest within me.
What I have realized over the last year without that house…is that I am that house. That each line on my face or scar on my skin is a testimony of the faithfulness of God. That I am the beauty that came from the ashes. That I have the authority over each valley and each mountain of my life. That I am a home to all these memories, these failures, these successes and victories. That I am a home for love. That I do not live in a house, I live in Christ and Christ lives in me. That my home is the presence of God and the presence of God finds a home in me.
They say home is where the heart is…but maybe our heart is where home is….