I sat in an empty house two days ago. I sat on the floor and listened to my voice echo. The walls were barren. The areas of which pictures used to hang were still etched in the walls with spackle. It felt cold and almost eerie. A distant memory; this house used to be my home. Now it was simply nothing more than walls and windows. I should have felt sad I think but I didn’t.
I had purchased this home three years ago. Although it was small, the potential was there. I turned an office into a walk in closet, I had fencing installed, I laid down hardwood floors, I painted, I decorated, I updated hardware and appliances, I reworked the space. Several hundred trips to HomeGoods ensued, and voila-my house became a home. At least it appeared that way….but what makes a home, really?
I dressed up my house, I filled it with beautiful things but at the end of the day, that didn’t make my heart full. You could have a perfectly organized, custom walk-in closet and still be a mess. (Seriously-I promise you it’s a real thing.) I was too busy filling up my house that I didn’t take the time to fill up my heart. I became distracted by so many things that ultimately didn’t matter- not in the least bit.
In this moment, as I sat alone on the kitchen floor in my empty house, I realized something. This is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I spent three years filling this house and about a month emptying it out. I sold some things, donated most, kept a little. I looked around once more and I realized; My house was empty but my heart was so full. This is why I was not sad! I wasn’t losing a home, I was gaining freedom from so many distractions that held me back from being the person I was intended to be.
It was at the moment that I knew I had arrived. I had arrived at a beautifully, unexpected place in my life. What would have otherwise been viewed as a loss had become a beautiful gain. God has a way of doing that doesn’t He?
Have you ever heard the phrase “Home is where the heart is.”? Given my recent epiphany, I’d like to flip that script a bit and say that the heart is where your home is. Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Because of Who I carry in my heart, my physical home could be empty and shallow but my heart would still be oozing over.
That night, as I opened up the door to my new apartment, I knew that I was not opening the door to a new home but to a new perspective on life. Home is the pitter patter of my sons feet as he is learning to walk. Home is connecting with an old friend over coffee. Home is in the arms of a much needed hug from the incredible man the Lord has unexpectedly blessed with me with. But ultimately, home is wherever I’m walking with Jesus. And that my friends, is never a destination but a journey. There’s so much beauty and wonder in the unfinished. Keep walking. You may go to some pretty unexpected places but your heart will always be home with Him.
I may not have a walk in to fill but I have a heart that sure is full.
It doesn’t get any better than that.