I just want to go home.
We’ve all said it. We’ve all felt the longing for the refuge and comfort of home at one time or another.
I know I have. And maybe never more than towards the end of a recent hospital stay. I’d been in the hospital on total isolation for a radiation treatment for going on 3 days and I was so ready to leave. Ready for some space to move around. Ready for an actual bed. Ready for more human interaction than just a peak through the door. So you can bet that when they told me that I could leave, I was out of that hospital and into my car in what felt like seconds. The only trouble was...that I couldn’t actually go home. Because of the level of radiation I’d received, it wasn’t safe for me to be around my kids in close proximity so I headed to the next best place - my parents’ house.
I arrived to the comfortable and familiar house that my parents have called home now for almost 13 years. Shortly before I graduated from college, my parents moved from the house where I grew up, to a spot a little out of town, where there are more stars and less noise. While I never actually lived in that house, it has become a place that I love to go. A place where the smell of fresh brewed coffee drifts through the house on any given morning. A place where the kitchen is always open and there’s usually a pan of brownies out on the counter in case you need a snack. A place where the kids have tv picnics and garden tub baths and stay up too late. A place where there’s always a lap to sit in and a shoulder to cry on. A place where the beds are folded down just waiting to have company snuggle between their cozy layers. A place where my mom’s hugs melt away stress and my dad’s laugh echoes down the hallways. A place where back porch swinging and four-wheeler riding are just a way of life. A place that is home not because I’ve ever lived there but because it just feels right there. Feels safe and warm. And I can breathe and just be. And I belong.
And it was during my short stay there a few weeks ago that I was reminded what a special gift it is to go home. To have a place where people welcome you and want you. Where there’s always a place at their table and a permanent place in their hearts.
I was also reminded that this is not everyone’s experience with home. For some, home is lonely and cold. A place they don’t wish to ever return. Maybe for some home has never been a haven or a place of peace and rest. Maybe it is broken and tainted with heartbreaking memories. Or maybe there was never any place to ever call home in the first place.
But I’m also reminded that as believers in Jesus, we have the promise of a heavenly home that far surpasses even the greatest of earthly homes. There we have a loving Father waiting to welcome us into His arms. There we have others that have gone before us now perfected and made whole. There we have the promise of His presence with us always.
Jesus spoke of this home in John 14:2-3: “In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
And its in that last line that I find so much hope - that one day my home will be with Jesus in the place that He’s prepared for me. That there will be a day when there are truly no more tears or sadness or heartbreak. No more sickness or radiation treatments or separation. No more night. No more death. Only light. Only life. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding our earthly homes, we have the promise of our eternal home with the One who gave His life to make certain we’d make it there.
I’ve heard it said that Home is where the heart is. I’ve even heard cute variations of that phrase that change it to say silly things like home is where the dog is. But I’d like to change that saying permanently for believers in Jesus. Home isn’t just where your heart is. Or your mom is. Or your dog is. Home is where our Savior is. Home is where our God is waiting on us to be reunited for all of eternity. Praise Jesus, Home is where we’re headed.