Tears. Face in the floor. Sobs. “I just want to go home!”
Every time. This was the heartbreaking saga that played out every time something fell apart, or didn’t go his way, or disappointed him for the first four or five weeks of living with my mother-in-law this summer. My poor little son.
“We can’t go home, buddy. Someone else lives there now. It’s not our house anymore.”
They aren’t exactly comforting words, but it was the best I had to offer.
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For some inexplicable reason in early May of 2020, as if COVID shutdowns and quarantines weren’t enough, my husband and I decided to sell our house. We’d bought it almost eight years earlier as a starter home — planning to move on quickly– but that hadn’t happened.
It initially began as a joke and then turned into a half-idea. “Let’s just call our realtor and see what he says.” Two weeks later the house was sold and we were left staring at each other with shell shocked eyes. Now what?
The move into my mother-in-law’s finished basement was originally very temporary. Just until we found a new house, not more than a month or two. Then the housing inventory disappeared and the prices climbed. And here we are three months later without a hint of when we will be leaving.
Unlike my son who desperately misses his old house, I just miss having a home. My mother-in-law is gracious and kind, and we haven’t had any problems living here but it’s not mine.
I miss my stuff. I hate going to the storage unit and seeing all of my possessions heaped in a pile just waiting for me to return for them someday.
I miss my flower gardens. This is the time of year that I’ve always hunted half-dead, deeply discounted perennials to add to my collection. I love it when flowers grow in a wild and free tangle of beauty and color. My gardens were almost perfect when I left them.
I miss decorating for fall. It’s my favorite season. But all my candles, and pumpkins, and colorful leaves are buried somewhere in that darn storage unit.
I was complaining, I mean praying, to Jesus the other day about how much I want to be home again. It was a “You’re God, so do something about it” prayer — the honest but not pretty kind.
The Holy Spirit gently whispered to my grumpy heart.
He reminded me that this world is not my home either. And it’s always going to feel off here. That my cranky heart is calling me to eternity. Paradise. Life with God forever. Home. Sigh, of course Jesus is right.
And so, I find myself grateful for these wistful feelings, these longings for a place to call my own because they point me to a bigger reality. We are not home yet. This world is temporary. And someday all of those feelings of discontent and loneliness will be satisfied in our forever home with Jesus.
“When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me…” John 14:3 NLT