Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Last Night on Greenwood Ave

It's hard to believe the time has come to leave this sweet little nest that has been my home for nearly four years!  How I've loved decorating and entertaining and trying new recipes and writing and resting and ministering here.

I'm remembering my first official night in my first grown-up home.  I had only lived in Connecticut for six weeks, but a houseful of single girls gathered to raise a glass of wine and some prayers as we sat in a circle in my bare living room.  {Many of those women have moved away since, but still remain my close friends.}   We christened this little home, asking God to bless and use it.

When I think of all the late nights with good friends, the college girls' dinners, and the high school Bible studies that have happened here since, I'm blown away.  What a good gift.

I'm sooo excited to move in with my friends the Dorsches for a fun summer with their three girls!   But as I was flying home from Seattle a couple of weeks ago, I suddenly felt a sense of fretfulness and panic about leaving this place that I have loved so much.  I opened my Bible and started reading some Psalms, when my eyes settled on Psalm 23:6:

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

The house of the LORD.  Bethel!  (To be specific, it's not the exact Hebrew word used here...but it's hard to miss the similarity.) When I first set foot in Connecticut to interview for my job at Walnut Hill, I knew that I wanted to live in this quaint New England town because of its Hebrew name.

But my truest, most perfect Home is not here on Greenwood Avenue; it is hidden in Christ--Beth'el,  the house of God.  My home here is just a shadow, and the town of Bethel a reminder that goodness and love will follow me no matter where I go. 

Just a few minutes later, on that same Seattle flight, I read this in a book for my pastoral counseling class:

In wilderness, there can be no illusion of a permanent home...When we see through God's eyes, we will not pretend that the tent we live in today can approximate the mansion in which we are destined to live.
Michael Mangis, from Care for the Soul 

Once again, it seems, God is asking me to follow the Cloud of His presence, to pick up and move without knowing what is to come next.  It's kind of scary to pack up all your belongings and put them in storage, not knowing where your next home will be.  But this is life as we trust in God's timing and plan.  Wherever the Cloud settled, the Israelites encamped (Numbers 9:17).