This is my home. But not really.
I’ve lived in Indianapolis for the past 16 years. I call Indy home.
I lived in Kentucky for 27 years. I still call Kentucky home. (You can take the girl out of Kentucky but never Kentucky out of the girl. Go Cats!)
I call the current house I've lived in for 8 years home.
I still call my mom and dad’s house home.
The word home evokes strong emotions in me. I love going home to mom and dad’s. I know what I’m getting when I get there. Comfort. Love. Homemade biscuits and gravy. My dad’s sweet prayers. The sound of my mom’s singing and sewing machine. My brother, sister-in-law, nephew and great niece coming over to eat. These are all a few of my favorite things.
I also love and look forward to coming home to where Jake and I (and a few others!) live. I know what to expect here, too. Comfort. Acceptance. Laughter. (Although sadly there’s not even a chance that the smell of homemade biscuits will ever come from my kitchen. More like the smell of spaghetti.)
I’m not going to lie. I’ve grown pretty comfortable here. We moved so much in our first few years of marriage that when we bought our current house I told Jake I wasn’t moving again until I was dead. I’m not a fan of moving. And I’m not a fan of change. If I had it my way, we’d stay here until the very end. (Unless God said move to the Caribbean, but so far He hasn’t, but I keep asking.)
A few years ago, it looked like there was a possibility that Jake might land a job overseas and we would have had to sell everything and move. This went over like a lead balloon with me. I wrestled with the thought of leaving my home and everything I had grown to love. In fact, I was so upset over it, I was losing sleep and if you know me at all you know that Paulette doesn’t lose sleep. She takes her sleep very seriously.
One such morning when sleep alluded me, I finally gave up trying and came downstairs to spend some time in the Word. Although I tried, I just couldn’t focus on anything other than the fact that I might have to leave my home. The dam finally broke and I ended up on my knees with my face in the carpet. There may have even some wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Lord, this is the house we prayed for! We promised You when we moved here that we would use it for ministry!
Lord, I’m not finished with my degree yet!
Lord, I just started a great job at a great ministry!
Lord, I’m responsible for a thriving ministry at church!
Lord, I love it here!
Help me! I feel like I’m dying here, Lord!
That was the word I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me in the midst of my crying/snot fest.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
Die to self.
Basically, my home had become more important to me that the One who made it a home.
Ouch. And thank you Father for the sweet conviction of your Holy Spirit.
Something shifted in me that morning. Did I get up off my knees jumping up and down at the thought of moving to a country where German was the official language and I can barely manage to speak English? No. Of course not. But I realized that I was clinging to something that could not offer me what I was truly seeking. Somewhere along the way I had started craving the gifts over the Gift-giver.
I resolved that morning that I would strive to hold all things loosely, with open hands, as best I could, including this house that I love. I want to cling to Jesus, not cling to the stuff He gives me.
So you may be wondering, why then would I choose to tattoo the word Home on my wall? Well, honestly, maybe this makes me a little morbid, but I chose it as a reminder. So every time I see this….
I am reminded that this not my home. Ironic? Weird? Yeah, I guess so. But I like being reminded that although I love what I’ve got going on here, it really is temporary. I have no idea what the future holds. I could be in this house until I’m 85 or God could call me somewhere else tomorrow. Who knows. And I’m okay with it. So for today, I’ll just be grateful that I can call this house home, all the while knowing that Jesus is my real home.
What about you? Where do you feel at home? What makes it home?