yellow rose

My friend is moving to Texas. She will pack up the objects and memories of her life here and reassemble them there. Some of what she will take with her are reminders of places and times that were precious to her in the past. Some of what she will take will be just as functional there as here. Some she will leave behind. She will leave people who love her and go to where she is not known yet. She won’t be where she “belongs”; she will begin building a new life where she will belong somewhere else.

She knows a little about where she is going. Bluebonnets and yellow roses will replace cardinals and dogwoods. Open sky will replace a canopy of trees. She will find new friends and new places where she will belong. She will learn new roads and customs and foods…and I hope she unwittingly adopts at least some of their drawl.

 She has lived her life here in such a way that many have learned to love her here. I have no doubt she will do the same there. And it seems to me that what she is doing now is what we are all called to do: prepare in this place for where we will belong in the future. Jesus promised, “I am going to prepare a place for you… I want you to be with me where I am.” (John 14:2-3)

 Refusing to prepare does not prevent change. Jesus has already prepared a new place for us in heaven. He described it for us in the Bible, so that we would know enough about it to make it our heart’s desire. One day we will go there, whether we are prepared or not. Letting go of what is known and precious is hard, but it may allow us to be able to receive what is unknown and glorious. Letting go of our “here” requires that we focus our priorities on knowing God now, so that we are prepared for what is to come.

 We don’t belong in Heaven yet, but we’re not going to stay “here” forever. My prayer for my friend is that she will have new adventures and put down deep roots and find new friends and joy in the place she is going. May the same be true for in your life “here” as you prepare for your life “there”.

 May we learn to love and value those given to us “here”, and may our time and our priorities “here” reflect the fact that we know that God isn’t finished with us and that there is more to learn in this life that will prepare us for eternity. Ask God to help you remember that your true home is in his presence. Ask God to make you homesick for Heaven…before you get there.