Monday, July 11, 2016

Thoughts on Going Home

It's a rainy, cloudy morning in North Yorkshire, and I've been writing things on the calendar for the week ahead.  It's so strange when my eye travels downward to the end of the month, and I see times with extended family written down!  After almost two years living in North Yorkshire it is hard to believe we are coming home.  We are all getting geared up for our "Great American Summer," looking forward to thunderstorms and lightning, fireflies, flip-flops, and two years worth of Vitamin D in a single afternoon at the water park.

We're looking forward to our family, our church family, Chick-fil-A, the library, the River Walk, all the little things that made up life in Tuscaloosa.  Familiar playgrounds, friends, the constant sheen of sweat...maybe that last thing not so much, but then again, maybe we're looking forward to that in its own way.

Before we knew living in and loving two places would be a part of our life's story a friend who was already living this kind of life said to me, "Now, wherever I am, I'll always miss somewhere."  And with my head full of all the fun ahead for us in the next few weeks, last night I felt a little sadness about missing the long days here, where you can almost always wear a cardigan and the golden light lingers on the fields long past ten o'clock, and where 4,000-year-old standing stones are 100 yards from your doorstep.

Sometimes the always missing someplace, always missing family and knowing they're missing you, feels like a hard load to carry.  But it also comes with so many, many, many gifts.  Before we left Alabama and since I've been pulled back to these words of Jesus:  "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."  And all I can say after nearly two years of missing people and places and two years of receiving the rich gift of people and places on this side of the ocean, is that Jesus has proven so true.  

A few months ago I listened to an interview with Sally Lloyd-Jones, the children's book author who wrote The Jesus Storybook Bible loved by so many.  She, of course, is from England, living and writing in New York City so experiencing the living away from home and family in the opposite way we are. On the subject of missing things she said:

The point of what we're up to right now is not 
coziness and comfort and safety.  It's about...
we only have a limited time to do what God's given
us to do, and we have eternity not to miss out on anything.

So in all the different ways this might look for you and me, let's remember that eternity spent with Jesus is long and full of every good thing, including all the things we might be missing out on right now.  And the days we have to trust Him and do what's before us with faith are but a short window in time.

Now we're off to finish off the school year strong (It's still going!) and work on our packing lists.

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