Home: (n) 1. a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household; 2. any place of residence or refuge
Where is home? My idea of home has changed a lot over the past couple of years. For a long time, home was always the house in the middle of the woods in Mississippi, where all my family lived together. I loved being with my family, and I loved being home. Even after going on a trip where we were all together, I always looked forward to driving down the driveway, getting to sleep in my own bed (or my sister’s), and waking up to drink coffee from our coffee pot out of one of my favorite mugs.
When I moved to Florida College, it took a while, but my dorm room also became a place of “home” for me. It was a comfortable place I could go when I was stressed or overwhelmed, and after going on cross country trips I would look forward to returning and being able to sleep in my dorm bed. I still always referred to Mississippi as home, but sometimes I would catch myself referring to FC as home as well. It was just a home for a little while.
According to the above definition, since Sam and I got married we have had many homes, many places of residence or refuge. After we returned from our honeymoon we lived with my parents in the house in the middle of the woods in Mississippi for seven weeks. During those seven weeks we traveled all over the country, staying with multiple Christian families as Sam went to various congregations giving a report on the work in Romania.
When we arrived in Romania there was a great deal of uncertainty as to where we would live, and whether or not we would stay in Severin, where Sam had previously lived. So we set up to live with Sam’s parents for a little while until we could figure out what to do.
After a week we found a lovely apartment in the center of Severin and signed a contract for three months. I scrubbed the apartment from top to bottom and we filled it with little things from home, artwork painted by my sisters and homemade wedding gifts from friends, making it look and feel like home. We called that apartment home for three months before we made the decision to move to Craiova, a city two hours away.
Again we found a place to call home, and again I made it clean and filled it with the special items to make the space feel like our own. This time we called the space home for eight months.
Last week I packed everything up in anticipation of moving yet again. By the time I was done clearing out all our things the apartment looked clean and empty, no longer like our cozy home.
For the past week we have been living in Constanta with Sam’s parents in the apartment of a brother who is currently working out of the country. Today we leave to fly back to the States. We keep saying we are flying home.
We will live with my parents again until we find a house, a place of residence to call home.
But what really is home? Is it America? Or a house in the middle of the woods in Mississippi? Or a comfortable place in a foreign country?
For me, on this earth, home is a comfortable place of refuge where I am with those that I love. Anywhere I can retreat to be with Sam is home, whether we live there for a week, or eight months, or five years.
But ultimately, nowhere on this earth is home. I hope I never get so completely settled in a place of residence here on earth that I feel it is my ultimate home. Our ultimate home is in Heaven with God, and though we may find places of refuge and comfort here on earth, it is a comfort to know that our ultimate home is to come, and it is perfect.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3.20-21