Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What is Home?

Shawn and I spent last week in Illinois visiting our families and friends.  I could hardly contain my excitement when we began the journey home.  There are so many people that I’ve missed and so many things that have happened since the last time I was there!  I want to make the most of every minute I’m there – and I usually come back to Iowa exhausted, but happy! 

Our week in Illinois was great!  But I found myself thinking about everyone in Iowa quite a bit while I was home.  I wonder what’s going on and how people are doing.  I wonder how the church members are doing who are suffering.  I wonder if the church family who were ill are healthy again and wonder how they are feeling.  I think of the sweet smiles of the church people whom I greet each Sunday and as I think about them, I smile without even knowing it.  I remember one couple who reminded us to take our map with us to Illinois so we made sure to find our way back to Iowa.  I wonder how the crops are doing and if we got any rain.  I wonder how many weeds are growing in my garden!  I think of all these things and I am filled with love for the people of Iowa.
But when I’m in Iowa, I miss everyone in Illinois.  I think about what my parents and siblings might be doing.  I wonder how my mother- and father-in-law are doing.  I wonder how my sweet nephews and nieces are doing and wish I could spend just a few minutes with them to tell them again how much I love them.  I think of my Grandma Boyce who is still going strong in her 70’s.  I think of my Grandma Rapp whom I missed seeing this last time I was home and wonder how much she’ll be able to remember about me when I see her next.  I think of my Bethel family and wonder if the pain of missing them will ever really go away.  I think of all these things and I am filled with love for the people of Illinois.

I’ve been thinking a lot since returning to Iowa – how does a person manage to NOT experience a torn heart when they feel at home in two different places.  When I’m in one place – I miss the other.  I have come to the conclusion that I can’t repair my torn heart because I don’t want to.  I will always be from Southern Illinois and I will always consider myself a bit of a “hick”!  But now, I will always have Iowa in my heart, too.  I have experienced growth through new friendships that I never imagined possible.  So, my conclusion is – don’t fix what isn’t broken.  I call myself blessed to have two homes that I love.  And no matter which direction I am traveling home – I will always have someone and something to look forward to.

Although ultimately, I know that I will always be torn until I reach my real Home.  I think that for a follower of Christ, there HAS to be a sort of unrest about the life being lived here and now.  We won’t be here forever.  As one of my favorite songs says,
On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand, and cast a wishful eye.
To Canaan’s fair and happy land, where my possessions lie.
            I am bound, I am bound, I am bound for the Promised Land!

I love my Illinois home.  I love my Iowa home.  But more than both of these, I love my eternal Home and I can’t wait to get there!  Sometimes, it’s easy for me to cling to the homes I have here on this earth – but it’s so wrong for me to do that.  It’s my prayer that I will remain faithful until I reach HOME.  So I ask you – where is your home?

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful and Biblical -- we miss you too Melissa.