I feel like my thoughts have been preoccupied with grief, death, and the pain of loss for some time now. I don’t try to ruminate on these things, but I find that there are unprovoked memories that flood my thoughts from time to time. And I find myself swept away by the ebbing and flowing of sadness.
I miss my grandparents. I miss being in the house with them. I miss being in the yard with them. I miss Virginia, growing up with cousins, exploring the woods with my brothers, sneaking flowers off my grandma’s flower bushes, the story-telling, chasing the piglets back into the fence, hearing my grandfather tell stories about things I would never know I’d care about until I got older….there is just so much I miss. And even this morning, I woke up early and nearly in tears at the thought that my aunts and uncles might sell that property or just change it so that it’s unrecognizable to me.
Truth is, I’m scared to go back home. I want to. But I’m too scared. I know it won’t be the same. There is no way that it can be the same. We move forward in time (thank God), not backwards. But the older I get, the sweeter and more precious home and these memories are. My base instinct is to not let anything change so that those memories are preserved forever.
But even with the tears this morning, I thought back to the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s one of those books of the Bible that will tell you what you need to hear in the most hardcore way you can think of. And I read it….the entire book this morning. And then I thought back Hebrews 11 and 12….those saints of old that line the way, that great cloud of witnesses that tell us of perseverance and hope in Christ. They envisioned a city built by God. They were nomads, pilgrims, and strangers. They wandered and never really felt at home.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. – Hebrews 11:13-16
And my prayer this morning was that God would grant me the grace and strength to keep entrusting myself to Him and pressing forward in the faith, and that He would help me to not have one single attachment to this world, no matter how dear or precious, but that He would be my chief love and delight. I prayed that although my home feels like the very foundation of my entire life and where I feel most grounded and connected, that even in this time, my identity would be forged more strongly in Christ alone, that the anchor of my soul would be the only One I am weighted by. Even with this heavy heart, I want to love God more and more and more. I want to be at home with Him. I want to be at rest with Him. If I could move this world out of the way, it would be gone in an instant just to be in the eternal bliss, comfort, and unceasing joy of the Lord.
Just imagine that heavenly place where there is no fear, no worries, no stress, no sadness, no grief, no pain, and no hurt. Even the hardest memories of life would feel like a light brush on the shoulder in the glorious light of our Savior and perpetual communion with Him. Nothing compares to it. And in these months of grief, I have desired to be there with my Lord more and more, to shake off this sinful flesh and bid this world goodbye to spend all of eternity with Him. I want to be with Him more than anything else.
But until then, whether He gloriously cracks the sky or calls me home, I know that I’m called to live faithfully in the work He has given me to do. I can lose patience, and I cannot lose heart. Everything requires a faithful, dutiful hand from cleaning the bathroom to teaching and training my daughter with special needs. And I struggle…I struggle a lot. It’s hard, and a lot of days I feel like quitting. But I know God is faithful to give me what I need each and every day to keep on standing firm and walking in Him.
I’m grateful that in this season of my life, He has given me a desire for an eternity spent with Him. And in the midst of tears, I am finding that desire is driving me on and on. I pray that He graciously meets your needs and increases your faith in Him as well.