A week ago we did the twelve hour road trip from Nashville to Niagara. It was the first time we would step back into our beloved Canada in a year and a half. Crazy, right? You guys – there is just something about going home.
I cannot even begin to tell you what going home can do for the heart. Our trip was short and our time was filled to the brim but it was oh-so-wonderful! And do you know what my favourite thing about home is? The people. Now, don’t get me wrong – the Tim Horton’s and Swiss Chalet and Smarties and Ketchup chips and COFFEE CRISP (because…delicious!) are high on my list of being at home favourite things. But the people…oh. the. people. I will never tire of hearing “eh?” or “hey buddy” or “out and about” pronounced correctly. 😉 Thank you, Canada. But it is the friends and family that make home…home. I have done a whole lot of hugging and squealing with delight in the past five days! There is just something about laughing and sharing life with the ones that hold your heart so dearly. The people make the home.
Here’s the thing, though: I now have two homes. My Canada home shaped and nurtured this gal for 42 years and my USA home has taken on that role in the past year and a half – and I love them both. I love Canada and I love the USA and I love them both equally as home – because the people I cherish and the family I love are there. And the people make the home.
While visiting our Canada home this week we got to spend some precious time with the Vergalito family. They are Italian through and through and own the best – and my most favourite – pizzeria in all of Niagara. And pizza or no pizza – I just love these people! They are the friends that are family – you know the kind, right? Yep. The ones that simply give all of their care and huge hearts and everything to love you. That’s just who they are. We have laughed, we have cried, and we have shared precious life moments together. During our hard goodbyes this week Momma Vilma so sweetly reminded us, as any good ‘Mom’ would, that sometimes we leave our ‘home’ so we can make a new ‘home’. Sometimes we have to leave our home countries, and all of our family and friends – just like they did many years ago from Italy to go to Canada. But, like Vilma said, “It’s okay to leave because there is a new home and new family that needs you. It’s hard, but it’s okay”.
And, you know what? It IS okay. God doesn’t ever leave us stranded – He gives us a new home. I was thinking about that a lot on our long drive back ‘home’ to Tennessee today. Canada is home and the USA is home….but I still have another ‘home’ that awaits me one day: heaven. The ultimate home! The home that doesn’t require Immigration papers – we are already citizens (Philippians 3:20). The home that doesn’t require border crossings. The home that God has been preparing for us. The home that our hearts long for – because God is the One holding our hearts. And HE is our HOME.
There’s a song I love by the band Building 429 that says these words:
*All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong*
I’ve been singing those words all day long in the car. This morning I was in Canada and tonight I am in the USA – both home, but, I’m still not completely home yet. You guys – HOME is a precious place. HOME is where the heart truly is. Our true home is where Jesus is. I know there’s a lot of life sometimes. I know home isn’t perhaps easy for everyone. I know there are days where maybe we can feel a little displaced. I also know that we have that sweet, blessed assurance – that the very One who lovingly created you and me – from our toes to our nose to every single strand of hair on our head – calls our human hearts HIS home. And in His most loving way is preparing our eternal home. I love my two countries and I love the people that make them both home and fill my heart. But – oh what a day it will be when we walk through the front gate of heaven, look into the beautiful face of Jesus and hear those precious words….welcome HOME.