Life on the mission field teaches you a lot about holding lightly to the things of this world. Houses should be at the top of my list, since I have a hard time actually counting how many times I’ve moved over the years. Each time I moved into a place, either as a single or with my family, it was always my job to put things in order and set up the things that made it feel like home.
Sometimes I didn’t get the chance, as with a house in south Lebanon, that we spent months renovating and painting, getting it move-in-ready, only to be told by our supervisor that we needed to leave the country. The curtains I’d sewed for that house moved, instead, to a new house in Tunisia.
Sometimes you’re just not allowed to settle.
Looking back, I can remember little things about each house or apartment, the neighborhoods, the neighbors. Yet, more than the thought of the house, are the memories of life events, people who visited, children who were born into those places. They will always be more important than the structure itself.
It’s the memories of people I carry to the next location.
So, as I struggled to sleep on Friday night, I wondered what was happening. It’s just a house, I kept thinking. Why is it so hard? Because this is the house that was ours together. The countless others across the years were not owned by us or even by our organization. They were temporary dwellings — rented space.
That’s when God had to nudge me back to reality. It’s all rented space, my child.
So, as I move on from yet another house, I can rest in confidence of where my true home lies. I will still carry the memories with me — not of the house — but of the people, the family we were in that place, the guests we invited in to that moment in time.
Do you struggle with moves? With leaving places? Focus on the people, the times shared and memories made. Thank God for the blessings of days past, while looking forward to those to come.
Make Him your Home.
Grace and Peace