"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."--John 14:2, 3
Today, my husband and I are going on the grand adventure of...cabinet shopping. Actually, we're really looking forward to it. If he could, I think my husband would love to build a house of his own. As that is not something he can do right now, this remodel is a close second. He sheepishly admitted to me the other day that if he could, he would spend all his spare time at the house, watching the whole thing go up.
As for me, I have not gone back to the house since we moved out from it a little over a month ago. I have seen the pictures that my husband has taken for me, but have not gone there myself. I think I'd be a little sad, even though I know that one day, it's going to be awesome. Maybe because my house is so much a part of me, it's hard to see it going through it's "ugly" stage.
It has been a lot of fun living here at the house near the church. We have had opportunities to see people during the week who we normally wouldn't see if we lived in Claremont. We're starting new little rituals, like eating lunch with my husband on Thursdays at the office (okay, so we only started that this week, but we liked it so much, I think we'll do it again!), having Matthew's friends over on Sundays after church to play, walking with Janna to handbells in the evening (with Jonathan in tow), and being able to drop in at the end of MOPS on Friday mornings to set up the chairs for Sunday school (so I can hang out with some moms even if I am not able to attend myself!). Many benefits and good things from living so close!
But as the weeks also go by, we are also finding that we miss Claremont and our home too. We miss being on a street with neighbors. We miss the quietness (the house is on a main street so we hear a lot of traffic...not enough to keep us up at night, but it's pretty constant). We miss our local grocery stores the most. It's hard having to learn a new shopping routine, so I haven't really done much grocery shopping. These are the times when I am very thankful that I had stocked up my pantry before (though Dan didn't think so at the time!). As much fun as it is, I think that when the remodel is done, I am looking forward to being where we truly belong.
As I was thinking about this "in-between" phase of life that we are in right now, the Lord reminded me that this longing for our Claremont home is a shadow of what is to come. This home here on earth is not our home. My real home is with Him, in the heavens. While there are many blessings and benefits here, I don't belong here.
The problem with me is that I often forget that. Life here is so much my reality right now that I forget what is waiting for me at the end. I have to confess that I really do not long for heaven as fervently as I should. It is easy to settle into routines, making things work here, and just plow through the twinges and longings for something better, thinking that this is all there is.
But it isn't. As I think of the home that is being built, I know that as nice as this little "335" house is, it isn't where we're going to stay. All our dreams, hopes and life is 18 miles away. When I think of my future, when Dan and I make plans, that is where they are all going to take place. We are just staying here temporarily, until that day should come. We can settle in, but in the back of my mind, I know it's just temporary. One day, we're going home!
So it is with our heavenly home. I don't think God means for me to isolate myself and grit my teeth and put up with life here. I believe He wants me to fully enjoy the world He has created, mingle with the people He has made, and embrace the work and life He has given me today. He just doesn't want me to forget that I have been destined for something more. As C.S. Lewis would call it, I am just living in the shadowlands. My real home is so much more. This life is but a taste of eternity.
And I can't wait.
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus. Without Him, I cannot know You nor the wonderful place You have in store for me. I know I cannot even begin to comprehend what that home will be like. Stir in me a longing for my real home while I still live in this temporary dwelling. I love You and am looking forward to that day.