Wednesday, October 29, 2008

His Heart in Mine

"Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him.'"
John 14:23

Just short of eighteen years ago, I can clearly recall getting into my little, white sports car with tear-filled eyes and heading north on Interstate 35, leaving Baylor University and Waco, Texas far behind. I had just said farewell to some of my sweetest college friends, not knowing when I would see them next. I was off on a another sort of journey, newly engaged and rather unsure of the road ahead, but committed to navigating by faith. I ultimately would be landing out west in California to be near my man; however, the first couple of summer months would find me at my parent's new home in Missouri, about eight hours beyond where I grew up and all that was familiar to me.

It didn't take long for those tear-filled eyes to break open the floodgates. I was in a full fit of sadness and confusion. Will I ever see these people again? Am I making the right decision? Why, if I feel led to go, does this hurt so much? Am I not excited to be near the one I love and become his bride? What's wrong with me? Why in the world did my parents have to move and uproot me right now? How am I going to make it? And, where exactly am I going, because I feel so lost right now? These were just a few of the questions flying around in my head.

Then, all of a sudden, the strangest thing happened. I heard Someone say, "I am your Home." I kind of quieted down a bit, and because what I heard was so real, I even looked over at the passenger's seat, knowing there was no one else in the car with me. Oh, but there was a Passenger, (or a Driver, really), with me; He was living in me, and I wasn't alone at all. I knew this Voice! "Wherever you go, My daughter, I will be your Home." So, ok, I only cried more at this point!

I didn't know at the time what Christ's promise of being my Home would mean to me in the years to come. I had asked Him into my heart at the age of twelve, believing Him to be God's Son, the Savior Who took all my sin upon the cross and came to life again to give me new life. So, my heart became His home. In all of my immaturity, though, I wrestled within myself for a few more adolescent years and pretty much ignored Him. His home in my heart was very messy, and I certainly did not provide Him with much room in which to stretch out and get comfortable. I really didn't know what to do with Him, so I just left Him waiting.

Then, a few years later at the age of seventeen, after living a drama-oriented life filled with lies and hypocrisy, I crumbled. I had always valued truth, so to walk in untruth was very unsettling in me. One night, tucked away in my bed in the darkness, I begged God to take my life. I guess at that point, I think I was asking that He either just make me stop breathing or show me something more, something real--namely, Himself. Guess what? He did take my life, and He changed everything, not instantly but step by step, day by day, through victory and failure. He unleashed the Spirit He had deposited within me. He was there, and He was faithful. I was beginning to see what a home in Jesus was all about.

So, now there I was, a young woman at the ripe old age of twenty, making her way across the country and out into the world. I would get married ten months later. A month after our wedding, my husband was in the NFL draft, and off to Denver we would go two months later. We were in Denver for two years, back to California for a year; to St. Louis for a few weeks; and, after completely moving into our 100 year old rent house, my husband was released and signed by the New York Giants. Hello, New York! We were there for a year, back home in Texas for three years, in New Jersey for three months, home to Texas for another few months, back to California for a few more months, then back to Texas. And, finally, we went back and forth from Texas to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about every six months for five years. Now, we have been back home in Texas for almost three years full-time.

Whew! The Lord, obviously, knew more than I when He spoke His sweet words over me. He knew what was to come and how lonely I would be for the comforts of "home" at times. Move after move, I remembered His promise that I would always have a Home, no matter where I happened to be living in the world. I may have felt lonely at times, but I was never really alone. In fact, the longing and the loneliness only drove me closer to Him, clinging to His Word, searching out His heart, and lavishing in His goodness. Not only is He Savior, Creator, Father and King, He's also a Best Friend in tow! He is Everything, and I love Him; He's my Home.

Now, that I've stayed put for a while, I've been enjoying home in the sense of family, friends, and simply in living where my roots are. Even still, I am learning that home is so much more. I have a home in Christ Jesus; He has a home in me, and that's the state of my being, my identity. This Home will not perish; it will sustain the strongest of storms and shelter me from raging winds. This Home protects me and even provides for me. I will never be Homeless, though I am given the choice to live like I am homeless in my own neglect and disobedience, which would be much to my dismay and so grieve the heart of my Housekeeper Who also happens to be Owner of the house. (Oh so complex, but by faith made simple!) But, oh, the joy of having such a blessed Home, for His love is truly better than life, (Psalm 63:3), and His steadfast love is the foundation of this Home!

So, that's it...His Heart in Mine, in a nutshell. Christ Jesus is my Home and forever will be, wherever, whenever, and come whatever! Amen!


Karla Pogue said...

Your honesty and truth filled words move my heart my dearest sweetest sister.
I love you!

Sherry said...

It is so moving to see how God used all of these times to shape you and bring you closer to Him. What an encouragement to me!

Tonia said...

I love how God uses our stories to encourage others! Thank you for the encouragement today!
I love you my sweet friend! Tonia

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Wow...that is so wonderful that He prepared your heart with the words "I am your home"...knowing you'd be moving around quite a bit for several years! He is our anchor!

Enjoying reading your heart reflected here in your blog. :)