Home(s)

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I’m writing this from my living room couch in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. I graduated from OTI two weeks ago today, on December 16. That whole last week was… highly emotional, to say the least. I spent a lot of time with my beautiful core group, traipsed all over the mall with interns on a scavenger hunt, and experienced a wonderful last few nights in the prayer room.

Wednesday was always our favourite night, and God blew it up for us on our last Wednesday scheduled in the prayer room. We celebrated and enjoyed God’s presence together. Much laughter and dancing was involved. Our real last night in the prayer room was the following Tuesday, December 11. I ushered for the last time during the 8:00 p.m. set, or for the first part of it, at least. During the second intercession cycle the directors of the internship came up to the mic and prayed for us. All of the interns went into the aisles and people came and laid hands on us. Soon enough every one of us was bawling. I was mostly okay until Jordan Marcotte, one of our favourite worship leaders and a good friend of many of the interns,  played a song that had been written by one of the interns.

This is my family
Father who sits on the throne
Jesus Christ, Son of God
Holy Spirit
This is my family
No one can take my family
Thank you, Lord
Thank you, Lord
Jesus Christ

And of course even though the lyrics are about the Trinity being our family, in that moment I looked around at all of my interns crying, hugging, and praying, and thought, “This is my family.” And then the tears came and didn’t stop for quite some time.

Nearly six months with these people. The most spiritually intense season of our lives, and we spent nearly every waking moment together. We laughed and prayed and learned and questioned together. We prophesied over each other, prayed over each other, provoked each other onward in our faith… I consider every single one of them to be a most beloved friend.

Driving away on Sunday afternoon was the strangest thing. There were so many mercies in those final few days, though, that made saying goodbye easier. God was so good to us. (I’m pretty sure we’re his favourite internship ever. 😉 He loves us, individually and collectively, a whole freaking lot, and he loves to surprise us and play with us. But there are far too many stories of that to share right now.) The last week was structured so that we had plenty of opportunity to savour our relationships and to say goodbye thoroughly. Also, on the last day, a large handful of the interns went out to Olive Garden together after graduation, so we had that chance to hang out and share those strange first few hours as “former interns” together. Then even on the drive home I had my roommate with me until Phoenix, so it was a blessing I didn’t have to say goodbye to everyone all at once. She is wonderful. 🙂

Christmas with the family was delightful, of course, and I’m currently relaxing at home a bit, spending as much time with my family as possible, and preparing to go back to work camp early in January. I’m planning to work there through the rest of the school year, then move back to Kansas City sometime in the summer to start IHOPU.

I find myself in an interesting position these days. During my time in Kansas City, the area became very much home to me. I know the streets, I have my favourite shops, I have a heart for the UMKC campus, I found a home in the Boiler Room church, and I absolutely love the prayer room and the IHOP community. I felt a lurch in my stomach and a breaking off of a piece of my heart to leave it. Still, I know I will be back. I belong there, for one more season of my life at least.

Now I’m at home in Rancho Cucamonga with my family, where I’ve lived since 2001. My family is here, my church(es) are here, I’ve gone to school, performed in plays, and gotten in car accidents here… my world is more here than it is anywhere else. Rancho will always be my hometown no matter where else I go.

Then, next week I will be moving back up to my camp in the mountains. I’ve been a camper there many times since 5th grade, and I’ve been on staff since 2010. I’ve hiked those trails in every season and I know almost every inch of that property. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences there and made so many precious friendships. That’s my mountain. In KC, I was homesick for camp as much as I was for Rancho.

They say home is where the heart is… but my heart is in three completely separate places. At least that’s what it feels like most days.

Last Battle quoteIn my more peaceful moments I remind myself of the home that I really belong to. I am on pilgrimage here. Rancho, KC, Crestline… ultimately it doesn’t really matter at all. None of these places are my home. The city I belong in is called the New Jerusalem, and that is where I will spend eternity with my Jesus. (Rev 21; Heb 12:22; Gal 4:26) I’m a foreigner in all of these places, because I was created for that heavenly city. He is where my heart is; his presence is my only home. One day I really will walk through those gates made of solid pearl (Rev 21:21) and never, ever have to leave.  In that moment, I will feel more at home than I ever have on earth.

Whether I’m in Rancho, KC, or up at camp, that’s where I belong. That’s the city my spirit is yearning for. Jesus is where my heart is. I am hidden in Christ , and his desire is for me to be with him where he is. (Col 3:3; John 17:24) I’m with him now, but I won’t be fully with him until that day when Christ who is my life appears and I appear with him in glory (Col 3:4), and we enter that glorious city together. So there’s a tension, the age old “already but not yet” of the kingdom. But the good news is that it has nothing to do with what corner of this planet I’m in. My anchor is there, not here. In him, I am always home.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: My Last Weekend in Texas… | Fragrance Arise

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