Over the last couple of years I’ve asked this question often. I can tell you that my home address is 101 Spring Branch in Williamsburg, Virginia, and that I grew up at 275 South Lake Ave in Lake Butler, Florida. Outwardly, these homes are different in size and space and yet they are both havens and places of safety. We have lived in our house on Spring Branch for 13 years. We finished rearing our children in this house, had hundreds for dinners, celebrations, and saw “gospel life” take place in all types of individuals. I can be included in that number. I saw God work in healed marriages, reconciliation with children, hardships in business, health issues, death, and the pain and suffering that most encounter. I love the house I live in today but some life events have caused me to rethink my answer to the question, “Where is home?”
Two years ago on July 14, 2012, our two dearest friends, Peter and Mona Branagh, were killed in their plane flying from Northern California to Aspen, Colorado. Traveling over Utah, the weather changed suddenly. They lost contact with ground control and their lives on this earth ended. They were friends with whom we intended to grow old. They were the first friends we thought of when we saw a beautiful place or ate a wonderful meal. We knew that they would love it! The emptiness, space and grief could not be put into words. CUT. Cut short. Cut forever from this “home”.
The second event was the Spring and Summer of 2013. Bill was sick. It was hard to feel safe at our home on Spring Branch. I had never been in a situation like this and felt like a nomad in the Sahara. Bill had a hard time communicating. To have any “normal” routine or interaction with others was impossible. We were both heartbroken. During this time family and friends offered places of safety and havens that became our home. In some of these places we would stay for two or three days and other places we would stay for weeks. As I drove up and down I-64 and points beyond, I asked, “Where is my home?”
Again, the question popped up in bold letters during our longest stay last summer. We were offered a haven for healing in France. On the first anniversary of Pete and Mona’s death, July 13, my mind was filled with thoughts of their lives and the loss of the past year. That morning I decided to take a run outside the small town where we were staying and run to the next village. Along one of the busier streets, there was a very steep hill with walkers, runners and bikers taking the incline. Approaching the crest of the hill there was a man ahead of me, about my age, on a fancy bike with all the right cycling gear. Right in front of me he fell over to the sidewalk, hit his head and laid perfectly still with blood flowing everywhere. He looked like he was having a heart attack. Then he was not breathing. There was a group of five of us who gathered immediately. Now to be in another country with people speaking and screaming only French can be very unsettling, especially, when my vocabulary is limited to a few words that I speak incorrectly. One lady was really upset and I thought she must be the wife of the man on the sidewalk. Later, I found out she was just passing by, too. Another biker started giving CPR. It was to no avail. A crowd gathered when the police finally showed up. Over the next hour there was a steady flow of responders-the EMT, ambulance workers, finally a group that looked like they were real doctors. I kept hearing them shout as they worked, ” Monsieur! Monsieur!” He still was not breathing on his own, until finally, there was success. I think. I am not sure because I still did not understand any words, just the looks on their faces. The responders were smiling and there was an air of relief. Being in this surreal situation brought this question to my mind again. I was in a different country, trying to console people who spoke a different language. The police had given up on me for any kind of official report. Questions swirling: Where does this man live; where is his family; and in all of this confusion, where is his home?
Finally, the question resurfaced when our good friend, Dick Woodward, passed away this March. Dick was facing this direction for years. He is now in the ultimate home to which he had been heading, always. Dick was the reason that Bill and I had lived in Williamsburg for over 30 years. After attending a service at Walsingham Academy 34 years ago, I whispered to Bill, “If Dick can be a preacher, I think you can too.” He was our model of what it meant to deliver God’s Word with a message of grace, truth and love.
So, where is home? We can have homes that we rent or own, that are small or big, and are lowly or beautiful. We work so hard in our homes trying to find a place of rest and refuge. There is a deep down longing in our hearts for this place we called home. I may have a few more addresses before I go to heaven. In the meantime, I need to keep the perspective that this is only a temporary stopover. There can be enjoyment now in these places of refuge and beauty. However, I know that the fulfillment of my true longings and rest is still yet to come!
“So we are not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (The Message)
11 thoughts on “Where is Home?”
this is beautiful lindy. blessings to you and your family, vicki paxton
Lindy, I am loving your heart and thoughts expressed in your blog! It speaks to me on so many levels. Thank you for sharing what runs through your heart and mind. Love you! Susan Balloon
Your blog post are wonderful. I have enjoyed them so much. You are a very good writer, keep up the good work!
Miss seeing you.
Very thoughtful and well said.
Encouraging to read this perspective that I am also thinking about all the time. I will use the word home for like 4 different places now! As I keep feeling the loss of my “homes” heaven is becoming so much more the longing of my heart, my greatest comfort, and at the top of my thankful prayers. Everything seems more hopeful living in light of eternity. Love you!
Lindy, this one brought tears to my eyes. When my mother was suffering with dementia, she kept begging to go “home,” even when she was at home. One night, she was visited by long-time minister friend. She prayed for my mother that night and asked that God please answer my mother’s prayer and take her Home. She died that night. Thank you for these very special messages.
Thank you for sharing this wisdom, Lindy. I try to also keep my focus here, but it is easy to get caught up in the world’s perspective at times. I like to remember that this life is a “journey” and we are not home yet. The scripture you shared is a great reminder.
Love this – love you. Miss you. Write me sometime.
Enjoyed your thoughts on where home is. Made me remember once opening my heart to Jesus in a new way and feeling like I had come back home.
Lindy – I really liked your recent blog! 🙂 Patrice
Dear Lindy, We met only once in Trader Joe’s several years ago. I attended WCC regularly and was a shepardwith first graders on 2 nd service. I was heartbroken by your departure and am just now learning of your nearness. You all have been and remain in my prayers. I am overjoyed by your witness . I hope we can share personally one day. May The Lord be your continued anchor in these times of rogue winds!!