Last week I got to see a very dear friend of mine. She’s been on tour with the Daraja Children’s Choir of Africa for the last seven months and is in Africa as I type this. Even though we were both working with really hectic schedules, being around her made it feel like we were back in Lakeland eating Tacos on a Tuesday.

Being with Carlee for just a few hours reminded me of all of the things that home feel like and got me thinking about what HOME means to me.

Home feels like my husband and kids.

Home feels like the crumbs in the seams of our sofa.

Home feels like the sun setting behind the trees in our yard.

Home feels like friends who come over in their comfy clothes and messy hair.

Home feels like more fun than you’ve had in ages. Home feels like the laundry in piles.

Home feels like some of the best food I have ever tasted.

Home feels like love undeserved and given anyway.

Home feels like bike rides and spontaneous adventures.

Home feels like the place where you can bawl your eyes out if you want to.

Home feels like hope and is spelled f-a-i-t-h. Home is the place where all of this feels safe and where none of it is wrong or right or wasted.

Home isn’t an address on a city street or a plot of land in the country.

Home is the knowledge of love and the opportunity to give it away.

Home is one of those things I long for, more than anything.

I lost my Bible at a youth event in Fort Lauderdale and went to a bookstore to buy another one while in Atlanta last week. I had heard different people quoting Zephaniah 3:17 numerous times over the week. In fact, one of my spiritual mamas texted the verse to me as it was on her mind to send it. Sensing the echo, it was the first verse I looked up and read in my new Bible. A beautiful reminder of what happens when God calls us out of broken things.

17The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”

I have always stopped at 3:17 but on this particular day I wanted more–as I continued reading I was arrested and began to weep as I read 3:20

20At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes
before your very eyes,”
says the Lord..
I have always wanted to feel at home. It’s my one and only dream–to know what home is, to have it, and to share it with others.
When I read this verse I realized that this is God’s plan for all of us. That we would be gathered up and brought home.
That we would feel safe to head in that direction.

God is love.

God knew He loved us. God saw an opportunity to give love when he imagined His Son on a cross. I can’t image God’s heart for home, how big it is, how kind, how God must have cried when he saw Jesus wounded for the sins of the world. Did it wreck his home? Did it tear a part what he had imagined his HOME would look like? Parent and Son. Torn a part by this THING that could not be undone unless Jesus did it?

But, God saw HOME as something more. More than a position, more than a place, it was the purpose of creation. Belovedness. Togetherness. Restoration.

God knew that his love was bigger and stronger–even stronger than death. God knew that three days later that same love would make his HOME even bigger to include every person who would want to know that love. God wants us to experience the people of HOME. He wants us to be thankful for the bits of HOME laying around in our word. He wants us to see HOME in the tides and in the way the sun sinks into the ocean. God created fun and calls us into the rooms of JOY that exist beyond happiness and good fortune. God wants us to taste HOME in every morsel given to us, why else would apples and strawberries and melons taste so good? HOME is the thing God wants us to feel when we say YES to this new thing, this different way, the situation that seems impossible. He wants us to feel safe to cry out in our fears and our disappointments–God has a divine appointment for those who feel safe enough to be honest about where they are and what they feel like. God calls our hope to rise to take us HOME every minute we walk by faith and not by sight. HOME is the place where we can grow up and be trained up–developing into beautiful images of our brother Jesus, our generous LORD who gave his life so HOME could be possible for all of us.

What Jesus gave, what Jesus did was insanely beautiful–torture is never beautiful, betrayl is never good, . Because we see how a KING could be so loving. We see how our God’s vision for HOME permeates our everything. Even in the darkness of betrayal and disappointment, brokenness and despair, there is hope that all will be made new.

Sunday is coming. It is always coming…in our HOMECOMING.

As more of us become more like our living King Jesus–Jesus is revealed even more and we get doses of HOME here on earth, more than we have room in our hearts to hold.

Oh home, it is sweet.

Sweeter than anything.

As I type the last words of this blog something beautiful is happening over me. Jesus used a nice airplane pilot to spell it out in the sky.

“LOVE U”

You do love us Jesus. You really do.

And, we love you too.

Thank you for welcoming us HOME.

 

There is no disappointment that God has not already seen or felt. It’s in the resulting wounds where we find healing, the wounds of Jesus alone. I don’t understand this mystery, but I know that grace meets us there and walks with us to freedom. #home ‪#‎GoodFriday‬ (Isaiah 53:5)

 

 

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