Last Sunday was the first in advent. It was the day proclaiming hope and it reminded me that a day on a calendar cannot guarantee the very emotion that day promises. It was the day we withdrew our offer on a house; the house I just knew we would be in by Christmas. It was a day that left me hopeless…though peaceful.
It was a day on which we continued our long obedience in the same direction, something Eugene Peterson said and my boss keeps quoting. It invades my thoughts every time he says it for I want it to be the truth of my life.
Two years ago I never dreamed our earthly possessions would still be in storage. Our great bed. Our new couch. My new Bible reading chair. Our daughter’s life. Our Christmas. Lots and lots of Christmas.
I love Christmas. I love the Baby, the decorating, the lights, the parties, the baking, the traditions, the giving, the HOPE. Somewhere in the pile of pictures in storage is the sign that reads:
I love HOPE enough to buy signs defining it that live on the walls of our house.
Only we don’t have a house. Our current housing has been a true gift. We have lived in a mobile home park in the midst of many senior adults from our church. It’s exactly where we have needed to be for this season. We love them and they love us. But, because it’s a snow bird rental, we knew we needed to be out of it by years end. No problem. We had eight months. We’d be out in plenty of time. We would celebrate Christmas in our new house with all of the decorations on display that we have not seen for two years. Our girl would pull in from college to sights of tradition, memories, gaiety. All would be right with our world again.
Instead, we have begun the search for a rental and Christmas week will include another move. (We have a peace about that decision.) It’s not what I wanted Abi to come home to. (But we have a peace about our decision.) I just want her to come home. And she will.
I’m tired and I’m weary. They are different. I’m ready to be in a house that reminds me of us. I’m ready for God to show His hand.
As I’ve been working my way through all of this, God has been speaking to me about what it means to be home.
In the last couple of years, I have been reminded by many that we DO have a home; we simply don’t have a house. And I understand the heart behind that thought and can even recognize its truth. I’m grateful for its truth. I love my family.
But, if you have said that to me, you don’t know me very well. My heart has always been in my home and much of what home means to me has been reflected in our house. It’s been my delight to make a sanctuary there for my family. It’s been my greatest privilege to gift them with the comfort of our home. It hasn’t been about the stuff and it still isn’t.
It’s about belonging. It’s about rest. It’s about comfort. It’s about familiarity.
And that’s the reminder God gave me this week. He simply wants ME to be all of that for HIM.
He wants to be home in me.
He wants to belong with me. He wants to rest with me. He wants to comfort me. He wants to be familiar with me.
He wants my heart to be His home. He is much more interested in decorating my heart with Himself this Christmas than He is with anything I can pull out of a box and place on the hearth.
Don’t get me wrong. I miss the decorating. I’ll celebrate extra big the year we have a house laden with our familiar Christmas decorations.
But…for now…for this season…
God is still doing His perfect work on my heart. My heart is His requirement of me this year. And it will be my gift to Him.
I’m at peace with that.