As she flipped through the stack of paperwork, sitting among the packaged cardboard version of her belongings, she took deep breaths. She'd done her research, found the best valued mortgage and interest rates, visited hundreds of houses and listings to find the perfect place. It was a good time for her family to be in a home, to establish their roots, make an investment and commit to stay. Even still, when a friend asked, "Do you think this is going to be your forever home?" she was unsure how to answer them.
Yes, it checked about half of the boxes on this mile-long list she had crafted (after renovations were completed, mind you). Yes, she felt safe in the neighborhood, although there was a noisy dog next door. It was not huge, but it was a nice size, well-suited for guests. It was all pretty good. Yet, she just didn't know how to answer her friend. Could she really say this was her forever home?
She'd thought her forever home was going to be the one that they used to own, built from the ground up. The one she and her husband carefully designed and poured themselves into. The one with the four bedrooms and large living spaces for entertaining -- back then, she called it her dream house. But someone else lives in that house now. Another family, another chapter in their story. It wasn't her forever home, though they'd thought it would be.
Parting a few boxes to create a blank space on the floor, she laid down, flat on her back. She started staring at the ceiling fan whirring in endless circles, and thought to herself, "Maybe there's something not quite right with calling any of these houses my 'forever home'. I mean, the term rolls off of the tongue because I've watched so many HGTV specials that toss the phrase around like a hot potato, but maybe it's wrong. Maybe it's wrong in light of my real Forever Home."
"Why in the world would I call a home in the world my 'forever home'?" She felt perspective swirling around her as she stood up to take a walk around the neighborhood with her thoughts. This was the first time she'd ever thought of the concept quite like this -- as a temporary home paired in comparison to her eternal Jesus-himself-preparing-a-place-for-me home in heaven.
"This is a big deal!" she actually said aloud. "Not only does this ease the pressure that this new house has to be 'perfect' and everything I would ever want or imagine, but it flips the whole thing on its head and gets me focused on the awesomeness of the home Jesus is preparing! It's going to be the best thing EVER!"
She looped back to her new home quite refreshed, and far more content. The home they just closed on would serve its purposes for their mission-life here on earth, hopefully reflecting the love, peace and joy of their true kingdom Forever Home along the way. However, it would not have to fulfill every hope or dream in this world.
That true sense of home will come one day in heaven. That's where we're going to be at peace that everything is finally the way it is supposed to be, reunited with our Savior, justice fully played out, love fully realized, and finally...forever...home!
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