I do this thing every now and then where I pull out all my old journals, lie in my bed, and shuffle through random pages of them all. It usually gets pretty emotional rather quickly. Tonight I have it opened to a page from July 2015 where I wrote to Jesus in letterform, as I often do, and it ends with, “I pray for everyone at home. I love them all. So much.” I wrote this while at a month long summer camp far away from home that summer.
It is now hitting me as I sit tonight in my apartment in the middle of New York City that it is when we are far away from home that we start to realize the worth of it. I have graduated from college and moved to the “city of my dreams” after so many doors were closed, keeping me away from here time after time. But I finally made it here and was so eager to start fresh, meet new faces, experience new things, see all the glamour of Manhattan, and well, just see if I could “make it.”
The adrenaline rush and excitement of it all kept me going for quite a while, but of course this city or any job I have here is not going to fill me. There are going to be some difficult times without a doubt. Tonight I sit here missing home immensely and have every urge to run back. To go back to being known, to a place of familiarity, a place of comfort and long time friendships. After spending some time in scripture, I am so quickly reminded that of course I have this longing for home.
It’s funny, when I would visit New York throughout college (when I first fell in love with it), I longed to experience a plane ride home where I was so excited to see my family and friends and just return home. I have always assumed I wanted to experience that so badly because it would mean that I lived in New York City. Every time I have boarded the plane to go home since being here, it has been just as exciting as I imagined. However, I have come to the realization that the reasoning for it is because of something else.
Jesus has placed a longing in each of us to “return home.” Hebrews 13:14 says, “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking for a home yet to come.” If I’m so excited to return to a familiar little town and a place where my friends and family share memories with me, how excited should I be returning to my ultimate destination where I am completely and fully understood and known to the very number of hairs on my head? Not to mention, a place where I am loved unconditionally and more than I could ever comprehend.
In Bob Goff’s book “Love Does” there is a part where he talks about crossing the finish line and says, “And at the end, perhaps simple words spoken by a loving and proud God will be, ‘Friends, it’s been a long trip. Welcome home.'” That quote never fails to stop me right where I’m at. We should not only long for this moment, but also live for it. In this challenging season of life especially, I want to keep reminding myself and my dear brothers and sisters what is ahead for us, our final destination, home.
words by Megan Sauers and photo by Kiana Dundore