Last Saturday, my birthday, I woke to read these words: “At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home” (Zephaniah 3:20).
With the kids out of school for the summer, I haven’t had much time to write for this blog. But that isn’t the only reason I’ve been quiet. Instead of spending time each day reading and writing, I’ve spent hours cleaning out closets, filling bags of out-grown clothes and toys for the thrift store, and packing up bins of game pieces and legos and building blocks to store in the garage. The idea, I think, is to make our house look as if actual children do not live here. This is a home for fantasy, catalog children (they make their beds, they keep one toy decoratively on the shelf), and this house … it can be yours!
Our house is for sale. My husband has a start date for a new position with his company. Next week, I will try to wrest six-months of medical records from my doctor and hope, as I enter the third trimester of this pregnancy, that I’ll soon find someone to accept them. Someone who will say, “Oh, yes, we’ve only just met, but I will deliver your baby in a few weeks.” (What if Mary had had to find room for a mountain of medical records on the back of that donkey?)
We don’t know exactly where we’ll end up. Next week, my husband and I fly to Philadelphia. From there, we’ll roam the countryside searching for the home God has promised us.
I’ve often told friends that living in Florida has felt like a two-year vacation. This is both a good thing and a hard thing. Vacation is a restful, enjoyable place to be. The scenery is beautiful, the pace is slow. The sun always shines, and palm fronds rustle in the breeze.
However, even the best vacations can last too long. Then, you find yourself longing for home. Resenting the emptiness of days devoted only to rest. You dream of that place where your roots are planted deep.
For two years, I have cried out, “Please, I want to go home.” I didn’t mean Chicago. I didn’t mean Texas, where I grew up, or any other place that I could point to on a map. Spurred on by God’s voice, his whispered promises, I knew there was a home for me.
“See, I will bring them … and gather them … Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor … I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble” (Jeremiah 31: 8-10).
We are headed home.