When I was eleven years old, my parents moved our family (and my horse) from Greencastle, Pennsylvania to East Tennessee. Since that time, when nearly everyone I knew and loved lived nearby, I’ve never felt entirely grounded or rooted anywhere.
From East Tennessee I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana…then to Dallas, Texas; Shenandoah, Virginia; and the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia. Although I can wax nostalgic about most anywhere I’ve ever lived, for twenty-seven years, nowhere has felt “just so.” It’s no one’s fault. I have a messed-up, mixed-up accent, and–because I’ve found it impossible to unlive any of the places I’ve ever lived–I have some funny ideas by most people’s standards.
At thirty-eight, then, I’ve finally given up thinking that any earthly place would satisfy more than the place in which I live, today. It’s complicated. Home, in my heart, isn’t a place. Home is people, and the people who are my home are spread far and wide; some of them, in fact, have left this world, altogether.
I feel restless inside, unsatisfied. And I know: the one and only answer for this pilgrim rests in Jesus Christ. I’m not trying to make this about heaven versus hell; I don’t believe in making eternity about place. I believe in making eternity about the Person of Jesus. I want to congregate at His feet with all my people, but I know–even if I don’t find someone I love, there–my heart won’t ache after I’ve made my way to where He is.
Until then, expect me to indulge my fascination with roadside architecture; to allow Merle Haggard’s voice to soothe what ails me in the way only it can; and to burn through laptops, phones, gas, and tires. I can’t seem to stay home. What is home? Not this log cabin. Jim Dear, my long-suffering husband, just shakes his head and watches the sand and empty juice boxes accumulate in our minivan.
I’m 99.9% sure there’s an Airstream in my future. I’m planning to drive it just as close to Jesus as I can get.